Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett hails captain Billy Paynter as the club’s ‘talisman’

Billy Paynter
Billy Paynter

Craig Hignett has lauded Billy Paynter as Hartlepool United’s “talisman”.

Paynter was installed as club captain before the season started by previous boss Ronnie Moore.

Billy’s the captain, a great leader and if he is playing well then the team plays well

Craig Hignett

The 31-year-old has certainly led from the front for both managers.

And there is no doubt that Hignett is as big a fan of Paynter as his fellow son of Liverpool was.

The striker took his tally to the season to 11 in midweek when he tucked away his chance superbly at Bristol Rovers following a heat interchange between Luke

James, Carl Magnay and Brad Walker.

“Billy’s the captain, a great leader,” said Hignett. “His performances have been really consistent.

“He’s been a talisman, people look up to him and if he is playing well then the team plays well.

“His scoring record since I have been here has been fantastic.

“He’s the right type of character you want around the club.”

While Paynter is at the head of the pile, Hignett reiterated his delight at how the while squad have responded to him and first-team coach, Curtis Fleming

“We have some really good and talented players here who will get better,” said Hignett, who would like to see Pools become a Crewe Alexandra and produce their own talent.

“What we are doing here we will develop players and they will be worth money.

“I am looking to get something good going here – with the backing of the chairman and the club I am really excited about the future and it’s positive.

“But it’s about doing a job now and we need people to step up to the plate.”

Pools are seven days away from a potentially season-defining basement battle with bottom club Dagenham & Redbridge.

But Hignett says he has not given a second’s thought to the visit of the Daggers to Victoria Park.

“It’s a cliche, but it’s one game at a time,” said the boss.

“I only have Barnet on my mind. I’m not even thinking about the Dagenham game.

“Only when Barnet is out the way will I think about the next match.”