Craig Hignett hails Hartlepool United left-back Mark Kitching as 'a totally different player' following an impressive run of form
After bringing in nine players over the summer, it’s someone from last season who is looking like a new signing at Hartlepool United.
Ahead of the 2019-20 campaign it seemed as though Mark Kitching’s involvement could be limited at left-back after he played just 200 out of a possible 630 minutes in pre-season.
The loan signing of Romoney Crichlow-Noble from Huddersfield Town provided some added competition in the full-back position as Kitching failed to start the opening two National League games.
But now 10 games into the season, the 24-year-old has been been the subject of plenty of praise from his manager.
“Kitch is a totally different player this year,” admitted Craig Hignett.
“I think him and Kenton [Richardson] are, they both had really tough years last year losing their dads but they’ve come back with a different mentality and looked different players.
“Kitch is coming on and he’s not an old lad, he’s only just turned 24 so he’s only young and I don’t think he’s played a full season anywhere apart from last year with us.
“We brought Rom in and he started the first couple but since Kitch has got the shirt, he’s been terrific.
“You’re not the first person who’s said that to me about Kitch being a different player, because he is.
“He’s more positive, he’s getting into some really good positions, he’s been good with the ball, he breaks past people and his defending has been really good but he’s not the only one.
“We want to be positive going forward and I want people to break out quickly and he’s taken that on really well and that’s improved his game and he looks a better player because of it.
“We’ll make chances for everyone, Peter [Kioso] has scored from right wing-back so I’d like Kitch to get in which he does and have shots and score goals.
“He’s not the brightest lad in the world but football wise he is! He’s one of those who knows what he’s doing and he can see that he’s playing better and he feels better about it as well.”