Hartlepool United management team plot way forward after friendly matches

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Craig Hignett was today set for talks with Curtis Fleming as Hartlepool United’s management team plot the best way forward for the new season.

Hignett and Fleming managed a Pools side each last night at Northern League grounds, but the pair will be united again this Saturday when Scunthorpe United provide the last friendly examination before the League Two programme gets under way seven days later against Colchester.

We looked threatening every time we went forward and it was a lot more pleasing than Saturday


There is plenty for the pair to discuss given the size and quality of a squad they must slim down into a match-day 18.

Hignett’s side raced to a 6-0 win at Guisborough Town last night, while Fleming was indebted to a Scott Harrison equaliser as his Pools fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Seaham.

“I will find out who played well and who didn’t,” said Hignett. “I will listen to Curtis’s thoughts and them we’ll get our heads together and decide what happens for the Scunthorpe game.

“Saturday will be a really good test and a better gauge to see where we are fitness-wise and football-wise.

“I’m looking forward to it.

“We’ll get a squad sorted and now is when things will start to take shape.”

Hignett was impressed by the win at Guisborough, Lewis Alessandra (3), Billy Paynter, Padraig Amond and Lewis Hawkins scoring in a slick team performance.

Pools triumphed 6-0 as they buried the frustration of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Livingston.

“Credit to Guisborough, they gave it a right good go, but I think we showed the quality we’ve got,” said the boss.

“We looked threatening every time we went forward and it was a lot more pleasing than Saturday.

“We created lots of chances and scored some really good goals.

“All in all, it was a really good work-out.

“It was a good 90 minutes. We were professional, we pressed when we had to, but played some really good stuff.”

Alessandra took the headlines with his hat-trick, but Hignett was pleased to see all three front men on the scoresheet.

There wasn’t a scruffy goal among the five shared by Messrs Alessandra, Paynter and Amond, while the strike by midfielder Lewis Hawkins was a spectacular finish.

“There were some great goals, some lovely finishes, movement one-twos, people playing team-mates through,” Hignett told SportMail.

“We got a bit sloppy towards the end but we were 6-0 up at the time.

“Overall, I was very happy.”