Craig Hignett on an exciting Hartlepool United partnership and why fringe man will have a big part to play

Craig Hignett is impressed with Hartlepool's forward pairing
Craig Hignett is impressed with Hartlepool's forward pairing

Craig Hignett has praised Nicke Kabamba and Luke James’ developing partnership at Hartlepool United.

But while impressed with the current duo, the Pools boss has backed all of his attacking players to make an impact before the end of the season.

Coverage in association with Grand Central

Coverage in association with Grand Central

The departure of Jake Cassidy leaves three senior strikers on the club’s books, with Kabamba and James preferred ahead of summer signing Niko Muir in recent weeks.

But Hignett feels that the entire trio will play their part in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got three strikers - Niko, Nicke and Luke - and I rate the three of them,” he admitted.

“I think all three of them will have a big part to play between now and the end of the season.

“But at the minute, it’s Nicke and Luke.

Kabamba and James’ partnership certainly seems to be one with the potential to develop, and Hignett is encouraged by the early signs.

He feels the pairing has brought the best out of the lively James, while he has been left impressed with how Havant and Waterlooville loanee Kabamba has taken to life in the North East,

Hignett added: “Regardless of what Nicke is doing, Luke James is playing a bigger part thanks to his work rate, the way he runs at people, the effort he puts in and how he defends from the front.

“Couple that with Nicke’s physical presence - we’ve got someone up there now who can win a header so we can put balls into the box and be a threat.

“For a big lad, he runs about all over the place and he’s great to have in the side.

“He should be full of confidence because of how he’s taken to life here.

"Nicke has come up here and got stuck in. He's embraced everything about the club and you can see by the way he trains that he's enjoying his football.
"He's scoring goals and, for a striker, that's what you're judged on.

“He’s got three in three now and he couldn’t have asked for a better start, but the challenge for him now is to keep that going until the end of the season.”