Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett's message to his players in pre-season

Fitness has been a key part of Hartlepool United’s pre-season schedule this summer with manager Craig Hignett striving to make his team the fittest in the National League.

By Dominic Scurr
Thursday, 25 July, 2019, 18:00
Craig Hignett and Nicke Kabamba following victory over Wrexham at the Super 6 Stadium.

The squad returned to training at the back end of June though Hignett had players coming in to train in patches during the close season before arranging seven friendlies in July.

Hignett’s first ever pre-season as Hartlepool manager has seen him stress the need to have his side firing from the start. And with just over a week before Pools get their competitive season underway at home to Sutton United, the emphasis on fitness remains.

“The message to the players has been to put it in, go and do your steps” Hignett said.

“They’ve all got the GPS on, we know what they’ve all done and there’s a set amount I want them to do in a game and it’s all working towards getting all those steps in.

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“That has obviously differed with how the games have gone and what types of games they are. The big thing for me has been closing down, we’ve been really energetic and that’s what I want from my players.

“I want them to press, no matter where they were, just for fitness more than anything else.

“We need the players to be ready on day one, we can’t afford to go two or three games finding our fitness.

“It’s important that we’re fit and ready to go which we will be.”