Hartlepool boss wants winning return against York

Michael Woods stretches for the ball at Notts County
Michael Woods stretches for the ball at Notts County

Craig Hignett is looking to see his players come back with a bang when Hartlepool United return to home soil.

Pools get back to Victoria Park on Saturday when they host relegation-threatened York City following three away trips in a row.

Local bragging rights are on the line - there will be no let-up from us, we’ll be going to win the game.

Hignett is unlikely to complain at taking three points from that run, with a stunning 5-2 win at Morecambe sandwiching 1-0 midweek defeats at Carlisle and Notts County.

There were plenty of positives at Meadow Lane last night but no goals as Pools were sunk by former Sunderland striker Jon Stead’s 55th-minute winner.

But Hignett is relishing a chance to get back to winning ways against the Minstermen.

“We’ll look forward to Saturday and try to get the lads refreshed and ready for what is a big game,” said the 46-year-old.

“The away games do take their toll and the way we play is also very taxing.

“Saturday is a derby and I want the fans to come a long and enjoy it.

“Local bragging rights are on the line - there will be no let up from us, we’ll be going to win the game.

“After last night’s result, we’re desperate to win and that’ll be the message.”

Hignett was “delighted” with the comeback of Michael Duckworth, who returned to the starting XI after a four-month absence.

The 23-year-old stepped in for Jake Carroll who was ruled out after taking a bang to the head at Morecambe.

Carroll should be fit to play against York, but Duckworth did his chances of retaining his place no harm at all.

“Ducky’s shattered and looked a little rusty at times, but he’s had a real good match,” he said.

“He’ll get better with games and I’m delighted to have him back.”

Nathan Thomas could also return after missing the game at Meadow Lane following feeling unwell.

Hignett though says there will be no wholesale changes, even though he continues to look at fringe members of his squad.

“We want to win on Saturday, I don’t think there will be any major changes,” he said.

“I said after we lost at Carlisle that good sides don’t lose two on the spin and there was a great reaction at Morecambe.

“We’ve shown we are a good side, that was only our second defeat in nine and I’lll be looking for another reaction against York.

“A few lads seemed a bit tired and I may look at one or two players but the important thing is we win the derby.”

The result kept Pools in 16th, ahead of Notts County on goal difference, the Magpies having joined them on 48 points after completing double.

“It’s disappointing to lose, but we’ll take iot on the chin and come back,” added Hignett.