Craig Hignett given free rein by hierarchy to shape Hartlepool United’s future

Craig Hignett.
Craig Hignett.

Craig Hignett goes into his second week of pre-season training enjoying building a Hartlepool United style.

Hignett, who will take Pools to Billingham Town this Saturday for their opening friendly of the summer, says he has given free rein by chairman, Gary Coxall, and chief executive, Russ Green.

And the manager said the ethos of the club and style of the football developed now would carry on over the years to come, no matter who is the boss.

“Gary (Coxall) and Russ (Green) have been brilliant,” explained the 46-year-old.

“It could have been hard for them given I’d never managed before and they didn’t know what I could be like.

“I have a blank canvas to reshape the club any way I want.

“That’s from the youth, to scouting and everything.

“Gary wants it to be sustainable so the principles continue if I’m here or not.

“Managers will be appointed on the club’s philosophy – not the manager’s.

“We don’t get managers who want to change the style and change the players – the chairman wants continuity. It’s sensible.

“Swansea have done it, appoint a manager on the club’s outlook, a manager won’t come in and rip it all up and say ‘we are doing it this way now’.

“Do that and you just go round in circles.

“Clubs like ours need to have a way of playing. Look at Crewe – everyone knows how they play and they sign players to play football in that way.

“It’s a sensible way of doing it.”

Hignett certainly has his ideas and will be getting his style drummed into his re-shaped squad ahead of the August 6 start against Colchester United – and beyond.

“I’m breaking the season down into six-week blocks,” said the gifted coach who led Pools to 16th last season.

“I have a rough idea of where I want to be for that, if we are in front or behind that then I know what we have to do.

“I just want to get going now. It’s exciting.

“I know what I want this season.”

But the Scouser is in no mood to divulge just what he wants.

“It’s in my own little book,” he smiled. “It’s for me to know.”