Hartlepool boss hopeful over Michael Woods

Michael Woods
Michael Woods

Craig Hignett has his fingers crossed Michael Woods shakes off a dead leg to be in contention for a place in the starting XI at Carlisle.

The midfielder produced a terrific “cameo” after coming off the bench, helping set up the winner, which came via a Billy Paynter penalty.

He’s got a dead leg – he got a right clattering at the end.

But the 25-year-old was “clattered” in the stoppage time he was instrumental in guiding Pools to a 2-1 win over Mansfield.

Hignett said he was considering Woods for a start at Brunton Park.

“Woodsy’s a good footballer,” he said. “But like everyone else [who is not in the starting XI] he’s had to wait and bide his time.

“He’s got a dead leg – he got a right clattering at the end.

“He’s someone pushing for a start, he does effect games, he did it at Leyton Orient.

“It was a good little cameo there and the same against Mansfield.

“Woodsy comes on and gives you unbelievable energy, he’s clever with the ball.

“He’ll be one I’m thinking about for Tuesday but we’ll have to wait and see how his leg settles.”

Hignett had praise for his fellow scouser, Paynter, after he marked his 500th career appearance with two successful spot-kicks.

“What a day to cap his 500th game to score two penalties,” said the boss.

“The first one only just squeezed in, and we said the second one has to go down the middle.

“He showed his experience there.

“I’m never nervous when Billy takes a penalty and he’s never missed one yet.

“I’ve had a lot of penalties since I came to the club and I’m grateful for all of them!”

But Hignett felt Paynter should have had a third penalty when he was manhandled in the box. The leading scorer did connect withhis first-half header, but it looked a foul.

“It was a blatant penalty – he was in front of the lad who has pulled and twisted him,” said Hignett.

“He got his head to it but he was fouled, how the assistant referee has not seen it when he’s had the same view as I have?

“And the referee was close enough to see it.

“Although he has given us two penalties – and they were – we should have had a third.

“Billy gets battered from pillar to post and he gets no free-kicks. And that one in the box? It’s unbelievable.

“But I don’t want to moan too much about the referee, it’s a tough enough job for them.

“It’s just frustrating as a manager.”