Craig Hignett assesses Hartlepool United squad strength after knocking back offers before National League deadline

Craig Hignett has revealed he knocked back a number of loan offers from other clubs in order to give his Hartlepool United players to prove their National League worth.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 12:28 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 12:33 pm
Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett.
Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett.

Hignett says Pools were inundated with offers of players, mostly loans, before the closure of the fifth tier registration window, which slammed shut at 5pm on Thursday.

Pools can now no longer sign players for this season, with all business now put back to the summer.

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And while Hignett had been hopeful of getting a few more deals done, it's understood his attempts to get targets on his wishlist were thwarted by the players themselves sticking loyal to their current clubs. This is something Hignett is certain to revisit in the summer, with raids on North East rivals Gateshead again likely.

Hignett was offered players on temporary deals, with a number of Football League outfits keen to get their kids games, but this was not a route the manager entertained going down.

"We are not desperate," said Hignett.

"I had people phone me this week to see if I want loans.

"What do I want loans for? There’s six games left. I’d rather play the lads here who are trying to earn contracts.

“I’ve got to have a proper look at Gavan Holohan, I want to see Adam Bale play and the other lads won’t wanna miss games either.

“So I’ve got competition for places and everyone's chomping at the bit at the minute to get in."

Hartlepool United take on Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium this afternoon. Kick-off is at 3pm.