Boss Craig Hignett has Hartlepool United project and won’t think about Middlesbrough

Craig Hignett and Curtis Fleming
Craig Hignett and Curtis Fleming

Whatever happens at Middlesbrough, it is comforting to know that Craig Hignett will not be involved in it.

Boro, at some point today, may relieve Aitor Karanka of his duties as head coach following a day or three of upheaval.

I have a project here and the chairman is backing me

CRAIG HIGNETT

Why you would wish to get rid of a manager who has taken you to third and second in the Sky Bet Championship goodness knows.

But Hignett and Pools chairman Gary Coxall have stressed that the new Pools boss will be staying exactly where he is.

“I have a project here and the chairman is backing me,” said Hignett. “He has faith in me and I have faith in him.”

And Coxall today said: “It is a massive boost for our club.

“It goes to show the man and what he is buying into.

“He knows where he stands, he knows this is what he is looking for and he knows not many clubs would give him the freedom to build a club.

“I know there will always be an emotional attachment with Middlesbrough. They are a bigger club who will get into the Premier League.

“But he has bought into what we want and where we are going.”

Hignett was Coxall’s first choice, in fact, only choice, when he called time on Ronnie Moore’s tenure at the Vic.

“Craig is the manager and he will manage the club, otherwise what’s the point hiring a manager?” said the JPNG man.

“I love the fella, I love his enthusiasm, his assistant Curtis Fleming and everything about them.

“He is the perfect manager for where we want to be and where we want to go.

“I didn’t need to sit down with eight managers and choose the best one.

“He ticked all the boxes and he has bought into us.”

Hignett may afford himself a smile - he might not - that Boro are having a difficulty or two with the boss he had a fall-out with last year.

The bust-up prompted him to quit his position as assistant boss at the Riverside.

It had been a dream job for Hignett, a Boro favourite, who had left his assitant manager’s job at Pools in March, 2014, to become Karanka’s number two.

After the row between the pair, Boro’s hierarchy had to back their manager, but there was always a feeling should the Spaniard leave Teesside that Hignett would return.

Hignett, of course, loves Boro, where he won a couple of promotions, fired them to Wembley, and scored the first goal at the Riverside.

But the relief for Pools and the fans is that he loves Pools and there are no plans to leave the VIc again.

Is there any chance he could be prised away in any post-Karanka scenario?

“No,” he stated.

“I’ve got a job to do at Pools, I love being here.

“Can you imagine if that happened? I’d get strung up.

“I don’t really want to comment on it, the problems that have happened over there, they will have to deal with it.

“I’m just worried about what happens here, that’s where my focus is.

“I love this job, I love this club.

“The time I left I didn’t want to leave but I couldn’t say no to it.

“People might say ‘that will be the same with this?’.

“No it won’t.”