Craig Hignett reveals what he said to his Hartlepool United players following 1-1 draw at Eastleigh and five game winless run

Hartlepool United’s improved performance at Eastleigh couldn’t help them get back to winning ways as they had to settle for another 1-1 draw.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool United manager, Craig Hignett during the Vanarama National League match between Eastleigh and Hartlepool United at the Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh on Saturday 28th September 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | Shutter Press)

It’s now three 1-1 draws and two defeats in their last five National League matches as Craig Hignett’s side have slipped to 16th in the National League table.

While there is still plenty of football to be played, Pools’ current winless run risks derailing those pre-season promotion hopes should it extend much further.

Still, United have generally looked solid on the road so far this season with three wins and two draws from their seven matches.

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The latest of which came at Eastleigh were Gime Toure’s early goal was cancelled out by a Danny Hollands header. For a large period of the match it looked as though Pools would end their winless run but they were once again left frustrated by a failure to capitalise when on top.

Following the match, Hignett revealed what he said to his players: “Get your heads up, you’ve played all right in the game but should have made more of your opportunities when they came.

“Keep improving, especially the younger lads, keep wanting to learn and have a look and analyse your performance.”

The average age of Pools’ starting XI on Saturday was under-25 despite being bolstered by 30+ veterans Michael Raynes and Jason Kennedy.

“Young players notoriously will be up and down in form,” Hignett added.

“The more games they play the better they’ll get because they’ll keep learning.

“It was a good team performance, Gime had his moments. Gus [Mafuta], Gav Holohan and JK had their moments as well. Raynesy at the back does what he does, Kenton [Richardson] was solid as was Peter [Kioso] and Kitch [Mark Kitching].

“If you put in performances like that week in week out and no one dips below a certain level which they didn’t today then we’ll win more than we’ll lose.

“I’ve said we’ll get better as the season goes on and players come back and I stand by that. On the whole it was fairly positive and a point isn’t a disaster at a tough place like Eastleigh.”