Will Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett change system at Barnet?

A Hartlepool United system switch is off the agenda, according to boss Craig Hignett.

Thursday, 27th October 2016, 10:51 am
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 3:46 pm
Nathan Thomas.
Nathan Thomas.

Instead, the gaffer will ignore calls for a move to play two up front and stick with what he knows.

Hignett has, in the past, admitted that he is no big fan of 4-4-2.

And it seems that despite calls for Billy Paynter to be thrown in to the starting XI at Barnet this weekend, to provide some much needed support for Padraig Amond, Hignett will continue to emply his 4-3-3 formation of recent weeks.

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He said: “Last weekend taught me that I cannot play 4-4-2. We are too open.

“It didn’t really make a difference in the game when I actually went to 4-4-2.

“We just look more solid when we are 4-3-3.

“Another thing that I learned about my players is that now I can see who can handle the pressure and who can’t.”

Pools head to Barnet looking to stem the flow.

They’ve conceded six goals in their last two games, having previously gone six unbeaten before coming unstuck at Brunton Park.

Hignett knows that if his players serve up anything close to the defensive display of last weekend, where a 25 minute spell at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium saw Pools go from 1-0 up to 3-1 down, they will struggle to get anything at The Hive.

Reflecting back on last weekend’s events, Hignett said: “The next goal was always going to be crucial. I said that to the boys at half-time.

“Hawkes (Lewis Hawkins) has had a header where their keeper has had to make a brilliant save low down and then they go up the other end and score.

“From being in a position where you looked to be going 2-0 up, its 1-1 and their tails are up.

“At half time we were disappointed that we only 1-0 up. It should have been four. But we just weren’t clinical enough. We gave ourselves a great platform to go on but could take it.

“Their goalkeeper has made some good saves but the three goals we conceded were three of the poorest goals I have ever seen.

“You will struggle to win games if you defend like that.”

Meanwhile, Hartlepool’s Reserves progressed to the next round of the Durham County Challenge Cup with a 3-2 win at Tow Law Town.

Nat Skidmore, Dylan Elliott and Ethan Wood got the goals for Pools.

Second string gaffer Sam Collins said: “We played really well in the first half and produced some good football on a pitch that wasn’t the best.

“I think it was a good experience for us because a lot of the young lads will never have come up against that type of football before so they had to find out how to deal with it.

“We got through the game and I was really pleased with all of the players.”