Craig Hignett reacts to Hartlepool United's loss to Dagenham and addresses THAT late substitution

Craig Hignett.
Craig Hignett.

Craig Hignett has revealed why he brought Conor Newton on for Mark Kitching at the death - a move which ultimately proved costly for Pools.

Newton came on out of position in the 88th minute for left-back Kitching, and both of Dagenham's late goals came down the attacking midfielder's left-hand side.

Hignett admits he was disappointed with the way the goals were conceded and revealed Kitching was tired as the game closed out.

"I wouldn’t dig people out like that and Conor knows what is required, he’s held us hands up in the dressing room we win together, we lose together," said Hignett.

"Kitching was tired. People come on, get up to pace, be ready but he’s an experienced player and he knows.

"It’s a sucker punch, I feel like I’ve been battered. In parts I was so pleased, but it’s remembered for the ending.

"It’s happened a lot to us with a soft underbelly – and it needs addressing, but for 89 minutes we were fantastic."

Hignett continued: "We conceded two quick goals again – experience, fitness? In front they normally go into their shell, but not today – stayed high, defended well and I didn’t stand there feeling in trouble.

"At the end we got stretched, but that’s the time to get compact. Forget attacking but defend as a tight unit.

"The players know it, experienced players were telling others, but it’s different telling and doing it. They learn from it – game management and seeing it out."

Has Hignett been bitten by the bug of management once again after today?

He has, but retains he will not be staying in the dugour permanently at Pools.

"I want to go back into management but not here," he said.

"This is a great club with a chairman with a vision and ambition. A manager coming here will come in and be supported to the hilt. I miss it, the training and coaching but I’m here to protect his investment, not to fritter it away and I‘m better being upstairs to look after it."