Proud Craig Hignett has this message for Hartlepool United squad after difficult few weeks
Proud Craig Hignett believes the 1-0 win over Maidenhead United proves the Hartlepool squad is a united one.
Josh Hawkes’ 17th minute strike was enough to seal victory in the National League clash and end Pools’ seven-game losing streak in the league.
The club’s director of football was overseeing matters for the second game while the hunt for a new manager continues, Hignett hopeful the new man will be in place by this weekend.
Hignett admitted it has been a ‘torrid’ few weeks for everybody connected with Pools following the long losing streak which led to Matthew Bates’ sacking.
But he is hopeful Pools can now turn a corner and begin to look up the National League table, with Pools climbing to 13th.
Hignett said: “I’m pleased for the lads. You can see they are all together, this is not a fractured group, they are a tight knit group and all want the same thing.
“It showed, I am massively proud of them, pleased for the fans and the club.
“There was great pride. The lads played really well, it is a tough place to come, they ask a lot of questions of you and you have to defend properly. We did all that.
“When they went down to ten men, we took control of the game a little bit. I am delighted but I said to them I was a little disappointed it wasn’t three or four.
“But we will take that, we take the clean sheet and the win and we look to go on a run now where we can look to climb the table.”
Hignett had praise for the travelling Pools fans and words of encouragement for the squad too after Pools finally ended the losing streak which dates back to mid-October.
“It has been a torrid time for everyone,” said Hignett.
“They have travelled from Hartlepool and the South East Poolies who were there. It is nice to be able to give them something to smile about.
“It has been a tough time for the club over the past few weeks but we dug in and they have shown they are together, they haven’t let their heads drop. The last two performances have been really good, we should have taken maximum points, that is the only down side. I will take a 1-0 win with the clean sheet, the lads will gain loads of confidence and the fans all go happy.
“We can forget about what has happened and move forward and look forward.”
Maidenhead went down to ten just five minutes into the second half when James Comley was shown a straight red for his challenge on Luke James.
Hignett added: “It is one of them, you can’t tackle anymore can you? In my day it was probably a fair tackle but it is intent today and if you look aggressive you run the risk. People will look at it and think it is a bit harsh. It was aggressive and sometimes you say to your midfielders you want them to be aggressive.
“I was not bothered if it was harsh or not, I’ll take it. We did take control of the game from that point. But for the last five minutes when they were pumping the ball high into our box and we had to defend, we saw the game out well and could have scored more,” he told BBC Tees.