Craig Hignett breaks his silence to reveal why he left Middlesbrough

Craig Hignett (right) pictured with Colin Cooper during his time at Hartlepool United.
Craig Hignett (right) pictured with Colin Cooper during his time at Hartlepool United.

CRAIG Hignett has broken his silence to reveal he left Middlesbrough because him and Aitor Karanka “weren’t compatible with each other”.

The former Hartlepool United assistant was appointed Karanka’s Number 2 towards the end of last season but he left suddenly in December.

Speaking for the first time since he left the promotion-chasing Championship side, Hignett has revealed he had a disagreement with head coach Karanka that couldn’t be rectified.

Despite leaving the club on a sour note, he has praised the job the Spaniard is doing and hopes to see Boro finish the job he helped start by playing Premier League football next season.

“If I’m honest I had a falling out with the head coach,” revealed Hignett.

“Me and Aitor had a disagreement and unfortunately it couldn’t be rectified and I left.

“We obviously couldn’t work together and that was disappointing.

“Boro is my club, I spent almost 20 years at the club in one capacity or another.

“It was just a clash of personalities if you like. I’d worked with Aitor and got on well with him at the start but things deteriorated towards the end.

“Myself and Aitor weren’t compatible with each other.

“I couldn’t put up with some of the things that were happening there and he probably couldn’t put up with some of the things I wanted or could see happening.

“Unfortunately these things happen in football sometimes and you learn to get on with it.

“While it was disappointing, Steve Gibson is still a fantastic friend and he’ll speak to me every week.”

Hignett admits he learned an awful lot under Karanka and is pleased to see him doing well.

“[Karanka] has been fantastic, I’ve learned an awful lot from him,” added Hignett, who was speaking to UAE-based sports website Sport 360.

“He’s a clone of [Jose] Mourinho so for me to be involved for the best part of 12 months, see how it all works and put the coaching sessions on, I’ll take that away with me.

“The lads will tell you they loved every session he put on.

“The job he’s done, coupled with the chairman who has chucked a few quid at it this year, is fantastic.”

Hignett, who was a contender for the Hartlepool United job before Ronnie Moore was appointed, hopes to be back in the dugout soon.

He added: “I’m hoping to manage and to coach, that’s my aim.

“I left Middlesbrough back in December and had a couple of interviews which I’m waiting to hear about and I’ll probably end up pre-season time having something happening.”