Craig Hignett raring to go ahead of Hartlepool United's first National League match of the season against Sutton United

Craig Hignett feels that preparations for Saturday’s first game of the 2019-20 season against Sutton couldn’t have gone much better for Hartlepool United.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd August 2019, 5:50 pm
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett (photo: Mark Fletcher).

Over 3,000 fans are expected to pack into a freshly renamed Victoria Park to watch Pools kick-off their third season in the National League.

The game will be Sutton manager Matt Gray’s first competitive game in charge of the club, who look to be a bit of an unknown quantity after going through a a transition period following the departure of long-standing manager Paul Doswell.

“Preparation has gone great for us,” Hignett admitted.

“Sutton have a new manager and they’ll have a new way of playing but they’ll still be a tough test for us.

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“It’s a long tough old season and it’s not going to run smoothly all the time but as long as we get off to a good start and we play the way we have been playing over the vast majority of the games in pre-season, then I’ll take that.

“I think that we’ve got really good quality and I think we’ll get a consistency in the performances, we just need to be a bit more ruthless.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’ll be a tough test, you want to start the season well and we’re no different.

“A home game gives us the perfect opportunity for that because last season, we were really good at home and I want to carry that on for sure this season.”

After a miserable couple of weeks in terms of weather, Hignett is hoping the sun will shine on Pools as they look to kick-off the new campaign with a bang.

“I’d like some nice weather as well that might bring a few more out but it’s always exciting the first game of the season, you want the sunshine out” he added.

“The fans have been amazing with the way they’ve supported the club, over 3,000 season tickets sold which is incredible hopefully we can all have a good season together.

“I think we’re all up to the challenge and we can’t wait for the season to start and it’s been like that since two or three weeks ago.”