Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett analyses Gary Johnson's Torquay United side

Craig Hignett has tipped today’s opponents Torquay United to mount a play-off charge in their first season back in the National League.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 8:00 am
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Sutton United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 3rd August 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The Pools boss pointed to the experience of his Gulls counterpart Gary Johnson as a key factor in a potentially successful campaign.

“I wouldn’t put it past Torquay to have a good season as a newly promoted side with Gary Johnson there who knows the league really well and what it takes and the players he needs to get out of it,” Hignett admitted.

“I think they’ll be there or there abouts but there will be 16 other teams thinking the same thing, including us.

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“They’ve got a lot of players who I know at this level so I’ve got a good idea of what type of game it will be. We’ve just got to show up and if we do that we’ll be more than a match for them.

“Torquay will be a handful and they’ll be organised so I know what to expect, I’ve seen all their games.

“They’re a good side who will play but really I don’t like to focus on other teams, I know what they’re all about, it’s more about what we do and trying to do the best we can in the game.”

After keeping back to back clean sheets away from home, Hignett’s main focus is for Pools to keep that run going.

“That’s part of the plan for the rest of the season, to keep it tight at the back,” he admitted.

“I think going forward we’ll look after ourselves so as long as we concentrate on that and doing our jobs properly at the back then I know we’ll do the job at the other end.

“I think we’ve played reasonably well so far but we haven’t got the points we should have based on our performances.

“Again we had to come from behind [against Wrexham] to do it so it will be nice to get our noses in front for a change.

“But I think it’s important for the players to see how they’re playing and that they can come from behind to win games which they know and it reinforces their belief.”