Craig Hignett admits Hartlepool face challenges in the summer transfer market - as he eyes players with North East roots

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett admits it's easier said than done to strengthen with the right players in the right areas this summer.

Monday, 13th May 2019, 12:46 pm
Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett (Shutterpress).

Hignett is likely to announce a complete squad overhaul this summer with a number of key players set to leave the club.

But replacing them is not as easy as some people may think.

Hignett, who is yet to sanction a retained list, said: "We know what we need, the hard thing is getting what we need.

"We're not going to be able to compete financially with other teams but we will have an advantage because of the size of the club we are.

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"I've heard a few say we’ve got a few southern players we can just go and get more, but you can only have so many southern players. You need to be the right character.

"We’re lucky we’ve got the right characters here. I’ve been at this club before where we’ve had southern players that didn’t want to be up here. Fans don’t see what they are like in training or what they are like around the place, so it's hard for them to judge it."

For that very reason, players with north east ties will be a priority, even after the club secured the permanent signing of Nicke Kabamba yesterday.

"Our main focus will be lads with ties to the area," he said.

"Lads who’ve been in the area before, who know what it’s like up here, so that there’s no shock when they come up here. I don't mean that in a bad way, we’re out on a limb up here and the travelling is something that no matter who you are, it's hard.

"You know I’ve lived up here all my life and even this season it’s been a proper slog. You’ve got to get use to it.

"I don’t ever remember it being like this when we were in League Two. We had the odd ones like Newport, but it wasn't like Havant and Eastleigh and all the London ones and Dover and even Barrow was three hours. It’s unbelievable.

"So with that in mind you have to get used to it, make prospective new players aware of it and we can do it right for everyone."