Does Craig Hignett know his best Hartlepool United XI?

Craig Hignett is set to change up his Hartlepool United side again following the 2-0 defeat at Halifax Town on Tuesday night.

By Dominic Scurr
Thursday, 08 August, 2019, 06:00
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett. Picture by Frank Reid

After 10 games played, including the pre-season matches – we haven’t really seen any consistent line-up from Pools so it's difficult to say what their strongest XI is.

The latter pre-season matches provide the opportunity for managers to establish their strongest side going into the new campaign. But Hartlepool’s big squad mixed with several injuries and a reluctance from Craig Hignett to ‘show his hand’ has thwarted that somewhat.

Still, the Pools boss feels he has a pretty good idea of what his strongest side is, it’s just a matter of getting them all fit and playing.

Luke Williams of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between FC Halifax Town and Hartlepool United at The Shay, Halifax on Tuesday 6th August 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“I’ve got a good squad that isn’t a million miles away and I’m confident in the people we have there,” Hignett said.

“Getting that first win is important, but I know when I’ve got my first 11 on we’ll cause any side problems.

“In the two games, we could have got something out of them so I don’t think it’s a personnel thing. Yes I would like my best 11 on but when we haven’t got it we’ve got still quality players who are more than capable.”

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Luke Williams came off the bench at Halifax for his first competitive appearance in a Hartlepool shirt since rejoining the club last summer.

He’s one player – alongside the currently recovering Luke Molyneux, Ryan Donaldson and Josh Hakwes – who will significantly improve the team going forward if fully fit.

“Luke has waited a long time for this, so have we,” Hignett added.

“He’s nowhere near match sharpness yet but 10-15 minutes here and there, we can get him up to speed.

“He’s a player who can turn this league and turn things around for us with his quality. We just need to be careful with him but at the same time get him up to speed as quickly as we can because we need him like we need Ryan and Luke Molyneux, these players who can turn games.

“We’ll have to wait and see on them, we’ve got another tough game away at Maidenhead on Saturday and we need to win.”