Craig Hignett reveals his budget for next season after talks with Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett has been informed of his National League budget for next season following talks with owner Raj Singh.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 12:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 12:18 pm
Manager Craig Hignett with chairman Raj Singh.
Manager Craig Hignett with chairman Raj Singh.

The Pools manager thinks he has been given a competitive budget for the 2019/20 season, with Singh ready to back his man in the market yet again.

Pools have been one of the more active sides in the fifth tier in recent weeks, but look set to see this afternoon's registration deadline pass without any further strengthening.

Hignett cannot fault the backing given by his close friend and boss. In the last 12 months Singht first shelled out to buy the club, then clear legacy debts and finally to help revamp the squad at every available opportunity.

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"Given the backing the chairman has promised, we will have a budget to compete for a lot longer than we have this season," said Hignett.

"I know the budget next year will be OK.

"It won't be up there with the biggest spenders in this league but it is going to give me a chance to compete.

"That is all I can ask. If I know what I have got, I can budget and spend it properly. I can't take gambles - every player has to add value, every player has to be right."

A crowd of more than 3,500, a big game atmosphere and a performance on the park to match it - Saturday's win over Wrexham is, in a snapshot, exactly what Hignett wants to become the norm at Pools.

"I'd like to think that can be the club, every week," said Hignett.

"I think everyone can see the type of football we want to play, the style and the type of players we want to bring in.

"If we can add maybe two or three in the summer who will improve it, if we can keep two or three (key players) who are already here, we will be happy.

"But, anything can happen in the summer."

Hignett knows he's got some big decisions to make this weekend, with the strongest squad he's had in his second spell fit and available.

The manager has hinted about getting new boys Adam Bale and Gavan Holohan involved before the end of the season, but the form of Nicky Featherstone, in particular, is making that difficult.

Luke James is another interesting call, with Luke Molyneux and Ryan Donaldson outstanding on the flanks in the 1-0 win over the Dragons.

"We have got options in the squad in terms of personnel and systems," said the manager ahead of the lengthy trip to Eastleigh on Saturday.

"With the same group of players who started on Saturday, I could have played 4-3-3 or three at the back. We have got it in the locker to change things. I could have done anything with that team. When things are not going well you need a plan B, C, D.

"All I want to do is pick a team to attack and go and win games."

David Edgar is set to return to the Pools first-team fold this weekend having spent last weekend on international duty.

The central defender was an unused sub in Canada's win over French Guiana.