Hartlepool United looking in better ‘shape’ says manager Craig Hignett

Nathan Thomas
Nathan Thomas

Craig Hignett believes Hartlepool United are in good “shape” to start moving up the League Two table.

Hignett sent out a new-look formation at Luton, with a midfield of Nicky Featherstone, Lewis Hawkins and Brad Walker with Billy Paynter, Jake Gray and Nathan Thomas in attack.

Nathan Thomas

Nathan Thomas

While the Pools boss does not rule out tweaking things, depending on the opposition, he has seen plenty to encourage him as the team approach the final third of the League Two programme.

“The players have a belief in how we want to play and how we’re trying to play,” explained Hignett. “Certainly last Saturday has been the best we’ve been as a shape, you could see how we frustrated Luton.

“They resorted to long and diagonal balls because they could not play through us, as we had a really good and solid shape about us.

“It won’t work against every team and there will be times we may have to change it, depending on who we are playing.

The players have a belief in how we want to play and how we’re trying to play


“But for the vast majority of teams in this league if you keep a good shape they will struggle to play through you.

“The other side of that is being good with the ball.

“We weren’t quite at it in the first half [at Luton] but the second half we were and we took control of the game.

“I’ve watched it back and there only looked like one team who was going to go on and win it.

“But for an individual error, a really sloppy piece of play, we would have taken something from the game. That’s the disappointing thing.

“The lads have seen how well they can play, now it’s about turning it into winning performances. If we can do that tomorrow, it would give everyone a lift.”