Barnet v Hartlepool United: Craig Hignett looks for Pools to be better in both boxes

Craig Hignett wants Hartlepool United to sharpen up in both boxes tomorrow when Hartlepool United visit Barnet.

Friday, 4th March 2016, 7:30 am
Craig Hignett

Hignett was unhappy with his team’s defending on Tuesday night at Bristol Rovers, where they lost 4-1 following a string of individual errors.

And while happy with the way Pools are creating openings, he wants chances converting into goals.

“The pleasing thing for me was how we were going forward – we looked a threat, as we have in all my other matches,” said Hignett.

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“We hit the bar and post at Bristol Rovers, cut them open and scored a really good goal from Billy, and had other bits and bobs.

“[Bristol Rovers boss] Darrell Clarke said to me after the game that they were panicking a bit when we made it 3-1.

“He felt the crowd was going to turn, but as it was, we gifted them another goal and that’s something we will work on.

“Overall in terms of going forward and creating chances I’m pleased with what I have seen. We do create chances and openings.

“We want to be a bit more clinical and finish off more than we do at the minute.

“I’m pleased with the attacking bits – we are just conceding too many goals.

“That’s not down to how we are playing as a team, that’s individual stuff

“Now we have to concentrate on individual performances and get them right.

“I’ll be saying to the lads: ‘Don’t you be the one to make a mistake – if it’s a five-yard pass, make sure you make it’.”

Hignett will hope to have Matthew Bates fit after the centre-half was sorely missed, having suffered a back injury in the warm-up at the Memorial Stadium.

If Bates does not make it, Hignett could field new signing Rob Jones alongside Adam Jackson.

Nathan Thomas could move to the bench with Lewis Hawkins a candidate to replace him after doing well after coming on as a second-half sub.

The 22-year-old may be restored to the midfield combination which played well at Luton, alongside Nicky Featherstone and Brad Walker.

That could mean Jake Gray and Luke James flanking Paynter up front with Thomas used as an impact sub.

Hignett is unlikely to rip the side apart for tomorrow’s match at the Hive.

“I have faith in the boys and I won’t change the way I go about things,” he said.

“I’m not changing how I think for one iffy performance.

“Second-half I thought we were all right on Tuesday, we were pushing on, we competed better.

“But you can’t give goals away like we did in the first half and expect to be in matches.”

Adam Bartlett will return to the bench after missing Tuesday night’s defeat following the birth of son, Kobe James.

Midfielder Michael Woods and defender Dan Jones will come into contention on the bench after recovering from hamstring and knee problems.

Pools (possible): Carson, Magnay, Bates or R Jones, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Hawkins, Walker, Gray, Paynter, James.

Subs (from): Bartlett, Richards, D Jones, R Jones, Harrison, Laurent, Woods, Thomas, Bingham, Fenwick, Oates.