Craig Hignett doesn't believe a 20-goal striker is essential to Hartlepool United after more goals from midfield and defence

Hartlepool United’s ability to get goals from all over the pitch is something that can help compensate their lack of ‘a 20-goal striker’ – according to manager Craig Hignett.

By Dominic Scurr
Monday, 29 July, 2019, 12:01
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett and Ged McNameee (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News & Sport Ltd)

Ahead of their behind closed doors friendly against Sunderland on Monday afternoon, Hartlepool had netted 25 goals in seven pre-season matches.

Saturday’s 3-0 win over Macclesfield Town saw midfielder Nicky Featherstone and defender Michael Raynes become the 12th and 13th different scorers for Pools ahead of the new National League season. Summer signing Gime Toure also found the net after missing an early penalty.

“Gime is frustrating at times, but he has great feet, can be dynamic and explosive,” said Hignett.

Gime Toure missed an early penalty before finding the net in the second half during Saturday's pre-season win over Macclesfield (photo: Frank Reid).

“He won the penalty himself so I have no problem with him taking it. To then miss the target like he did he would have been feeling it because Gime is quite hard on himself.

“To see him get on the scoresheet was very pleasing, he kept going, didn’t give up.”

Toure’s three goals in pre-season make him United’s top scoring striker in pre-season with Nicke Kabamba and Luke James scoring two apiece and Niko Muir still very unfortunate not to get off the mark having twice being denied by the woodwork against the Silkmen.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

But as Hignett has previously mentioned, the fact that a diverse range of players are getting on the scoresheet bodes better for Pools than if one player was netting the majority of the team’s goals.

Midfielder Liam Noble was Hartlepool's top scorer in the National League last season and is also the top scorer in pre-season (photo: Frank Reid).

Though he has still backed his current strikers to fulfil their goalscoring potential.

“If we are going to do something in this league we need goals from all over,” added the Hartlepool manager.

“We’ve worked out the goals we need and tried to work out where we need them from, that’s without having a 20-goal striker.

“But having seen them in training I know they have the quality to get 20. But if they don’t then I need to know we have the ability elsewhere to get goals – I think we have.”

Hartlepool will open their National League campaign at the Super 6 Stadium on Saturday against Sutton United (3pm kick-off).