Hartlepool boss will look to boost attack

Craig Hignett and Curtis Fleming
Craig Hignett and Curtis Fleming

Hartlepool United have a promotion defence and midfield according to Craig Hignett.

Now the boss says he will find the striking talent to get Pools up.

If you have good front players in this division it makes a difference.

Hignett delivered his comments after watching his team match automatic promotion favourites Oxford United.

For extended periods at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, Pools controlled play though they could not translate good football into the commodity which wins matches – goals.

Hignett says he seek out those goalscorers.

“I’m disappointed, really disappointed,” he said. “The way we played like we did first half, anyone watching would wonder who was third and who was 16th.

“But then when you analyse it properly the difference is down to the front players.

“If you have good front players in this division it makes a difference.

“Take the two best front players in League Two and put them in our team and we would romp away with the league, I know we would.

“But that’s my job now.

“There are loads of them in England and we will go for the best we can get.

“I think we need them. It’s all well and good keeping the ball and playing well like we did at Oxford, and their players saying nice things to you.

“Their players were saying stuff like ‘it’s the biggest chasing we’ve had all season’ and ‘you’re the best team that’s come here’.

“That means nothing to me, we lost 2-0.

“I want us to have a winning mentality, not be happy with just playing well, I want us to play well and win games.”

Hignett says he is happy with his defence - on Saturday it was, from right to left, Carl Magnay, Matthew Bates, Adam Jackson and Jake Carroll.

The main question mark would be over Jackson and whether Pools could bring him back again in August from Middlesbrough.

He’s pleased too with the midfield triumvirate of Nicky Faetherstone, Lewis hawkins and Michael Woods.

But he concedes he needs forwards - of his front line on Saturday, only Nathan Thomas is a contracted Pools player, with both Jake Gray and Luke James loan men.

“Looking to next season, I’m really pleased with what I have got,” he said. “I know where I need to add to it.

“Back four, midfield three – they will get us promoted from this league.

“The same back four, if I have the same next season I will be delighted – I might not have it.

“It’s the forward-thinking players who win you games and they cost the most money.”