Craig Hignett has this key message for Hartlepool United squad ahead of season finale

Craig Hignett.
Craig Hignett.

Craig Hignett has told his Hartlepool United players to be more ruthless and end the season on a high.

Mid-table Pools, who sit 16th in the National League, only have three games left but Hignett is in no mood to let up the pressure.

Hignett doesn’t believe his evolving side is far off were they need to be but the Pools chief does want them to be more clinical when on top.

Pools rescued a late point at Aldershot, which relegated their hosts to the National League South, courtesy of Gavan Holohan on his full debut.

“We need to be a little bit more ruthless,” Hignett told BBC Tees.

“You can see we are not a million miles away, we know where we need to get better.

“The lads all put a shift in at the weekend, if we’d gone away with a defeat it would have been a travesty.

“Slightly disappointed with the draw but we take it.

“The first goal was sloppy. We had started well and were on the front foot.

“One ball we didn’t cut out, I think it was Luke Molyneux who wasn’t quite in where he should have been, the ball across we don’t defend well enough. I was pleased with the response second half.

“It is important we finish on a high and we don’t let the season peter out.

“This is a tough place to come, I know they have been relegated, but if you catch them on their day they can knock the ball about.

“Aldershot were up there last year, they were one of the best footballing sides in the division.

“This is a tough, unforgiving league.

“I am surprised they are down there but it shows you can’t take the league lightly.”

Hignett had warned against players slipping into holiday mode prior to the game and he was pleased with the attitude of the squad.

“We didn’t come away with the win but it was important not to lose it,” added Hignett.

“We want to win games and have a good end to the season and we have games that mean something, the last game against Salford could be massive for them.

“We will still be on at the lads.

“I didn’t want anybody in holiday mode and I don’t think there was, we were right at it, maybe without the quality we have seen in training.”

Hignett was also delighted with the impact of Holohan on his full debut, adding: “I was really pleased for him, he has looked good in training, I have been waiting to get him in.

“You can see what he offers, forward thinking and gets in good positions. I was really pleased he managed to get his goal as well.”

Pools have a busy Easter weekend with FC Halifax visiting the Super 6 Stadium on Good Friday, ahead of the Easter Monday trip to Barrow.

Hignett hopes to have Josh Hawkes back in training later this week, he told BBC Tees: “Josh’s thigh is taking a little longer to clear up, we hope to have him back in training sometime this week.

“Carl Magnay is back on the grass training and Liam Noble missed out through sickness. We have enough bodies to see us through.”