Craig Hignett sets Hartlepool United two-season promotion target

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.
Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.

Craig Hignett has set Hartlepool United a two-season target to get back into the Football League.

The manager accepts the club’s current position means it’s unlikely Pools will muscle in on the National League top-seven this season.

But Hignett is hopeful the top seven will not be out of Pools’ reach next season and, if not next, in 2020/21 he’s determined the Super 6 Stadium outfit will be right in the promotion mix.

“It can take time, but the chairman (Raj Singh) is ambitious,” said Hignett.

“And we all are at this football club - we all want the club back in the Football League as quick as we can.

“If it’s not this year, then be in and around it next year and, then if not, the year after for certain.

“But we have a plan, it won’t happen overnight and I’m confident we will get there.”

While many clubs take years to get out of the National League, tomorrow’s opponents Leyton Orient are the shining example of how to turn things around quickly.

The O’s had struggles just like Pools last season, but have transformed this term - and sit top of the fifth tier heading to the Vic.

“Orient have been consistent over the season and Justin has done a good job. It’s a good test, but one which we shouldn’t be afraid of,” said Hignett.

“We were both in the Football League not too long ago, they have really turned it around. They are a wealthy club now, but it’s taken some turning around. Their budget is slightly bigger than ours!

“We need to be more methodical than bringing a whole new batch of players in, but as long as the ones we bring in are better than the ones we replaced then we are getting somewhere.”