Craig Hignett hails 'outstanding professional' Jason Kennedy after Hartlepool United heroics
Craig Hignett has backed ‘outstanding professional’ Jason Kennedy to keep improving - having admitted he would take a Hartlepool United side full of the midfielder.
The former Carlisle United man netted the winner for Pools as they sealed a dramatic three points against Yeovil Town, with Hignett claiming he was the club’s standout performer regardless of his late strike.
Indeed, the midfielder’s match-winning goal was just rewards for a testing 18 months in which Kennedy’s first-team chances were restricted as a troublesome back injury reared its head.
That injury left Hignett wondering whether the midfielder would be able to continue playing, but he was quickly convinced by his pre-season performances.
“The year he’s had, I thought his career was over,” said the Pools boss.
“I had a text off his agent in the summer saying if he could come in and train.
“I know what he’s like as a lad and of course I was happy to have him come in because I would have done what I could to help him anyway whether we were interested in signing him or not.
“But when he came in, he wasn’t a million miles away from the JK I knew.”
And while he’s already having an impact at Victoria Park, Hignett believes Kennedy will keep improving as the weeks pass - having paid him the ultimate compliment by praising his ‘outstanding’ professionalism.
“Michael Raynes was magnificent and Jason Kennedy, even without the goal, he’d have been my man of the match Jay,” added Hignett after the win over Yeovil.
“He’s just an outstanding professional.
“I think he’ll get better the more games he’s played because he hasn’t played much football.
“He gets about, his stats are really impressive and he can tackle.
“I thought one of the tackles he put in was felt around the ground, it was a great tackle.
“He’s got a goal in him as well to arrive in a good position and get the winner.
“His all around game is great and if I could have 11 Jason Kennedy’s every game then I would.”