Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett insists he’s learned from his mistakes

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com. Football, Sky Bet League Two; 'Crawley Town v Hartlepool United; 14/01/2017 KO 3.00pm;  'Checkatrade.com Stadium;'copyright picture;Howard Roe/AHPIX.com'Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett with a rueful look at the fourth official
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com. Football, Sky Bet League Two; 'Crawley Town v Hartlepool United; 14/01/2017 KO 3.00pm; 'Checkatrade.com Stadium;'copyright picture;Howard Roe/AHPIX.com'Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett with a rueful look at the fourth official

“I will be different.”

Craig Hignett admits his time outside the dugout, on the other side of the footballing world, has changed him as a manager.

And he understands it is not just himself who has to be different in his second time in charge at Victoria Park; he knows Hartlepool United must evolve, too.

Hignett heads into his second full week in his second spell in charge, a little under two years after his sacking as Pools boss by then owner, the rather brash and outspoken Gary Coxall.

In that time Hignett has seen what it is like to not only step outside the football bubble, but he’s also had experience in the boardroom at Pools.

Hignett accepts he made mistakes the first time he was the main man at the Vic - and this time he’s keen to right those wrongs.

“I will be different this time,” said Hignett.

“I made mistakes last time and this time I will not be the same.

“This division is brutal. I am not daft. I know we need to be a bit more filthy. And we need players to do that.

“I still have my philosophy. I still want to play football. I still want to attack but there is a different way of doing it in this league. You just have to be clever about it.”

Hignett, whose side sit 15th in the division, probably knows promotion from the National League is beyond his team this year. But he’s got it in his sights for next, with some clever moves in the market between now and March and beyond.

“There are teams who play football at this level and get nowhere. There are teams who regularly lump it and get in the play-offs. I need a good mixture,” he said of his plans to get back to the Football League.

“We need some strength, pace and height but we also need good footballers.”

Plans on that front are already in play.

“We will be working now to get as much preparation done so we are not scraping around in the summer,” said Hignett.

“We have people out at games, we have lists of targets drawn up already. We need to refine that a little.”

The massive benefit of appointing Hignett to replace Richard Money was that he not only knows the town, the club, the owner, but he also has a fair grasp on the playing staff, too, having worked to sign them under Matthew Bates and, under Money, helping with coaching.

“It is a massive help. I have been around it since Matty went. I have taken the two games, so I know the players, the characters,” he said.

“I don’t have to find out about anyone. Richard had to find out about the players, you want to see them for yourself. I don’t have to do that.

“We have to get enough wins on the board, then press on as much as I can with this team.

“Then going forward we have one eye on comings and goings next year. We have to start doing that as soon as possible.”