Craig Hignett admits Niko Muir is having difficulties at Hartlepool United but backs the striker to return to form
Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett is backing Niko Muir to come back firing after a mid-season dip.
Hignett admits it was always inevitable Muir, who scored more than 40 goals for Isthmian League Hendon last season, would have a drop off in form at some point this campaign.
And the manager puts that down to the fact the player has never played full-time football, or trained at the current intensity, day-in, day-out in his life.
"He started the season on fire. It is his first season in football after working in a supermarket. He was always going to hit a brick wall at some point. We knew it," said Hignett, whose side travel to Boreham Wood on Saturday.
"He will come through it. He has the right character.
"Training every day is the difference. Part time players can have the fitness, but it is the adjustment of pushing yourself every single day. It's the conditioning of your body, at some point it always wears you down.
"It is hard. Niko has got some great ability and a good character. He is the type who will come through that, he won't fold."
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Hignett says he's delighted to have TWO top class strikers on his books as Pools head into the business end of the National League campaign.
The January capture of Nicke Kabamba has proved inspired, with the Havant loan man on fire having scored three in three games since his switch from the south coast.
"Niko and Nicke are the types we want at this club," said the Pools boss.
"They will work hard, won't sulk if you take them out, want to be here. I want players who want to be here, not ones who are simply tolerating being here.
"It goes back to character. There are players out there.
"If they are not getting a chance or have come back after getting a chance, it's probably to do with their character.
"Kabamba is an example of a player with the right attitude. He wants to do well and wants to have another crack at it. He knows if he does well here that opportunity will come. That's the type of player we want here."