Craig Hignett opens up about being sacked as Hartlepool United manager on BT Sport documentary

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett opened up about his first departure from the club back in 2017.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 2:29 pm
Craig Hignett applauds the fans at the ned of the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Wrexham at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 23rd March 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | Shutter Press)

The current Pools boss was sacked from his first spell in charge midway through the 2016-17 season. United were 19th in the table at the time before a disastrous run under Dave Jones saw the club relegated from the Football League for the first time in its then 109 year history.

Speaking on ‘The Gaffer’ documentary which first aired on BT Sport on Wednesday evening, Hignett discussed the difficulties manager’s face in the cut-throat world of professional football.

“I received the news when I got sacked here the first time by a telephone call from the chairman [Gary Coxall], I was gutted,” he admitted.

“But you have to accept it and you have to move on and you know for a fact when you’re a football manager, the likelihood is you’re going to get the sack at some point.

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The thing you do realise is once you’re out of football, how quickly you’re forgotten about. When I applied for about four or five jobs when I’d been sacked the first time and I had a couple of interviews but none of them got anywhere.”

Alongside former Walsall manager and Pools consultant Jon Whitney, Hignett also touched on the struggles of coming to terms with being out of work.

“Once you’re in that world and you’ve been submersed into 24/7 football and what you’re going to do, to suddenly come out of that is difficult, really difficult,” Hignett admitted.

“That’s what I struggled with the first time I lost my job here, I was out of work for a year and the longer you’re out of football the harder it is to get back.”

Whitney stated: “If you get sacked tomorrow there’ll be 50 applications on the desk.”

And Hignett responded: “Even before you’ve got it. We’ve done it here when I was director of football, within a day of Matthew Bates going, there was 60 applicants who’d all put in for the job.

“But you wouldn’t [change being a manager for anything] would you, you’d still do it!”