Craig Hignett admits concern at putting too much pressure on Hartlepool United with promotion and play-off predictions

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett is refusing to set his players any targets for next season.

Saturday, 20th April 2019, 9:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th April 2019, 9:54 pm
Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.

Hignett privately must fancy a promotion push next season, owner Raj Singh certainly does - but publicly he’s refusing to put too much pressure on his players.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s visit to Barrow, Pools’ penultimate National League game of the season, Hignett said: “I want us to compete, no pressure on anyone.

“We are all ambitious, me, chairman, the club. But we don’t have the kind of money some have in this league.

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“We can recruit properly, add better players to what we have and build something to get it right.”

Hignett is already putting plans in place for his squad next season - he continues to keep his cards very close to his chest on who will remain from the current crop at the Super 6 Stadium.

Hignett continued: “We know who we want, the type of player we want, but the hard bit is getting them.

“Everyone wants the players to get you out of the league.

“We are a big club in this league, we aren’t able to pay the biggest wages, but we have to find the right words and the right reasons to get them.”

Value for money is key for Hignett and Singh.

Given that Pools’ budget is not one of the highest in the division, although it is by no means one of the smallest either, they cannot afford to waste one penny on players who will not contribute to their cause next season.

“We are talking to players, it’s a tough time as we have games left,” said the manager.

“Trying to talk to players and agents and there’s always something on the horizon. Come here where you can be playing every week and be loved. Add to the squad with the right players and we can compete next season.

“We need the right characters here, because we don’t have money to waste on one player. Every single penny has to be value.”

Gavan Holohan is a player whose deal runs out at the end of the season.

But the Irishman certainly has an admirer in Hignett.

“Gavan impressed us all, he was terrific for a lad who has only played one game since October,” he said.

“He’s a threat going forward and he took his chance well.

“He is hungry to make a career for himself here, which is just the type of player we want at this football club.”

Holohan impressed in the win over Halifax on Friday, so too did Luke Molyneux and Luke James.

“Luke (James) frustrates you with so much ability when things don’t quite happen,” he said.

“He’s got quality and is exciting to watch, he picked up a really good position to finish well.

“They all worked hard, put a shift in. No-one coasted through it.”