Craig Hignett describes the attributes new signing 'perfect' Michael Raynes will bring to the Hartlepool United dressing room
Craig Hignett has described Michael Raynes as the "perfect" fit for Hartlepool United.
On Thursday the central defender put pen to paper on a permanent deal at the Super 6 Stadium, after a successful three game loan spell, cruelly cut short by injury, last season.
And Hignett thinks the 31-year-old former Crewe Alexandra, Stockport County and Carlisle United man will add a wealth of experience and attributes to his Pools talent pool.
"Raynesy came in at a time when he hadn’t played many games and Harrogate was a bit of a baptism of fire for him – but he got better as that game went on and I thought he was outstanding in the two that followed," said Hignett reflecting back on Raynes debut last season.
"He’s a real leader. I will talk a lot about character over the summer but Raynesy is one who will show everyone how to behave as a professional footballer. He’s vocal, he’s competitive, he’s a proper defender and he’s still only 31 so he’s got plenty left in him yet.
"He’s another good one for us to add to the squad because he’s got the right mindset to help us go and attack this league.
"It’s worked both ways with him – we loved what we saw when he came in on loan for all the reasons above, but he also loved everything he saw from us and he was gutted when he got the injury. He had really settled in here and was enjoying his football so I think that’s been a major factor behind his decision to commit to the travelling that will be involved in signing for us.
"He knows he’s coming somewhere where he’s going to be wanted, he’s going to be valued and he’s got a part to play and we’re delighted he’s signed because he’s the perfect character for us."
Does Hignett have any concerns over the Achilles problem which ended Raynes' season? Not at all.
"Obviously he was unlucky with the injury," said the manager.
"But we’ve looked at his track record and that’s the first bad one he’s had in a while and he’s been available for lots of games over the past three seasons."