Craig Hignett praises players heart and commitment after Hartlepool United victory

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett.
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett.

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett was delighted with the heart shown by his players as they came from behind to beat Braintree 2-1.

A first half goal from Justin Amaluzor had put the National League's basement boys in front but second half strikes from Nicke Kabamba - his second in two games - and Josh Hawkes ensured Pools came from behind to win on home turf.

And Hignett was not only pleased with the quality shown by his players in the final third, he was also impressed by their willingness to put their bodies on the line in the latter stages.

Assessing his side's show, Hignett, only appointed this week, said: "It was a good start, winning was the important thing after what’s gone on. It was important we started off on the front foot, but first-half we were a bit flat and not up to speed.

"Then we showed loads of energy, got about better and picked up more second balls after the break.

"We made changes at half-time and at times first-half they linked up well going forward, but then putting Luke (James) on we knew he would run at goal all day long and stretch teams.

"Other players got on the ball in better areas and we looked better for it.

“We played some really good stuff, some not so good, but then they showed they were desperate to keep the ball out of the net when we came under pressure."

Hignett came in for some stick the last time he was in the Super 6 Stadium dugout for the last gasp loss to Dagenham.

That day the removal of Mark Kitching for Conor Newton proved crucial as the Daggers exploited the attacking midfielder's defensive weakness and scored two goals down that side.

This time, though, the manager changed the game with the introduction of Luke James at the break.

Hignett admits he was happy with his calls off the bench.

“I’m delighted overall, second-half especially and the win was the most important – it was about getting three points, not how many goals we could score," he said.

“There’s a better ending there after what happened at the end of Dagenham – the substitutes I made that day was well documented, but this time they worked."