Hartlepool United fans 'shocked' by sudden sacking of Craig Hignett
Hartlepool United fans say they are “shocked” by the sudden departure of Craig Hignett.
The club announced on Thursday that they “had made the decision to terminate the contracts of Craig Hignett and assistant manager Ged McNamee”.
Their departure followed less than 24 hours after the National League side’s disappointing 2-1 defeat on live television by Stockport County.
The reverse leaves Pools in 16th place and four points from both the play-offs and relegation spots.
York City Steve Watson and former Pools player Phil Brown are among the names now touted by supporters as possible successors.
Pauline McSweenie, the secretary of the Hartlepool United Supporters’ Association, was among the loyal fans to make the trip to Greater Manachester on Wednesday night.
She said: “I am shocked and it’s not as if anyone was booing or asking for him to be sacked after the game.
“People were disappointed we did not get the equaliser but that was it.”
Hignett was confirmed as Pools manager for the second time in January after taking over from Richard Money on a temporary basis a month earlier.
His sacking leaves the club looking for a fifth permanent boss in less than two years.
Miss McSweenie, who favours York City’s Steve Watson as a replacement, added: “We were starting to play some decent football and get some stability. The last thing we needed was to change the manager.
“I know we are inconsistent but it is only last Saturday against Yeovil that we put in a cracking performance.”
Ron Harnish, 67, an ardent Pools fan for more than 60 years, feels that same inconsistency and the inability to finish teams off have cost Hignett his job.
Mr Harnish, who is a committee member of both the supporters’ association and the Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust, added: “We are very Jekyll and Hyde and played teams off the park without getting the results we deserved.
“Overall though, we have not progressed from last season and I think the club have thought he has had a good knock in charge and plenty of new players.
“What happens next though? Phil Brown as a short-term boss? He would probably have to work with the same squad.”