Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett on what he wants to put right for Sheffield United visit

Craig Hignett wants his Hartlepool United to put their ‘schoolboy’ second half at York City behind them when they face Sheffield United under-23s this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 8:00 am
Craig Hignett speaking to Luke Molyneux in pre-season. Picture by Frank Reid

The Hartlepool manager wants to see a convincing 90-minute display against the young Blades side at the Super 6 Stadium.

A 2-1 defeat at York on Wednesday provided plenty of food for thought as Hartlepool were undone by two simple goals from the hosts in the second half.

But if there’s any time to make mistakes, it’s pre-season and Hignett will be looking to write those wrongs in their penultimate friendly match.

“I want to see 90-minutes at the standard we showed in the first half at York,” said the 49-year-old.

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“It’s no good doing it for a half or 60-minutes, the players will be playing a lot more now and getting more minutes in the tank and with that I’ll demand 90-minutes of performance.

“The Sheffield game and the Macclesfield game are our final two friendly matches so it’s important for us that they’re a similar level of opposition to what we’ll be facing in the league.

“The first few games were to work on fitness, now we start gearing things up to being a competitive side who are ready to go come the first game.”

The former Middlesbrough forward has learnt a lot about his side in the past two games in particular but was particularly disappointed with the goals conceded. After not conceding in their opening three matches, Pools have now shipped six in their last two.

“We were very good in the first half at York, I was really pleased but the second half was schoolboy at times with the goals we conceded,” he added.

“The first goal certainly, was really poor because it came from our corner and that should never happen, especially when we’ve been working hard on stopping teams breaking out on you.

“The second one was just a lump into the box from a corner and we didn’t win the first header so we need to work on that but you don’t want to concede from set-pieces.”

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £5 for seniors and under-16s with under-5s going free.