Craig Hignett reveals key role a former Walsall manager is playing in shaping Hartlepool United’s future

Craig Hignett has revealed the key role former Walsall manager Jon Whitney is playing in shaping Hartlepool United’s future.

Saturday, 4th May 2019, 7:00 am
Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.

Whitney, a former Huddersfield, Hull, Wigan and Lincoln player, was brought to the club by former manager Richard Money.

And while few of Money’s contributions to Hartlepool’s second term outside the Football League can be viewed as positive - the addition of Whitney, by Hignet, at least, was a step in the right direction.

“We have been using Jon Whitney on a consultancy basis over the last few months to help us bring our medical and sports science departments up to speed,” he said.

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“His background is in that sort of field and he’s been a massive help to me with what he’s done.

“He’s been able to help us improve the way we utilise our GPS equipment and better analyse the performance of every player both on the training ground and in games so it’s been a real positive to have him around.

Whitney has played a key role in shaping manager Hignett’s thinking when it comes to his squad make up for next season.

The 48-year-old’s expertise has been utilised to collate GPS data for Hignett - who has since used the statistics to rank his players performance not only in games but also in training.

It is with this information that Hignett, who has Whitney in twice a week on a part-time basis, has been armed when making decisions on his current squad members’ futures.

“John’s a little bit different in the way he does stuff,” said Hignett of Whitney, who was also part of the selection process for Pools’ appointment of their new physio, Callum Davidson.

“He was physio, he’s qualified, that’s his trade. He’s got his own business where he rehabilitates, trains athletes.

“He’s been a big help because we’ve had this GPS stuff that no ones used, no one’s known how to use it but John comes in and he does it all - he’s given everyone an understanding.

“Having been a manager he understands what data I need. I don’t want to be trawling through all that because I’ve got enough to do - I only want how far they’ve ran how many sprints they’ve done how many accelerations they’ve done, the intensity they’ve been running at and I can do that for training and games.”

Hignett continued: “John’s been a different class.

“Moving forward, I don’t know what he’ll do, but it’s nice to have him around certainly.”