Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett defends 'intimidated' Ben Killip and Fraser Kerr following Bromley defeat

Craig Hignett believes a some of his new Hartlepool United players are finding playing at Victoria Park intimidating compared to their previous clubs.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 12:45 pm
Ben Killip clears the ball during the Vanarama National League match between Maidenhead United and Hartlepool United at York Road, Maidenhead on Saturday 10th August 2019. (Credit: Ian Randall | MI News)

Following the 3-2 defeat at home to Bromley on Saturday the Pools boss picked out goalkeeper Ben Killip and defender Fraser Kerr as two players who are still adapting to playing in front of over 3,000 fans every week.

The Hartlepool defence and goalkeeper have come under particular scrutiny this season after conceding eight goals in three games at The Vic already.

23-year-old ‘keeper Killip joined Pools from Braintree Town as Scott Loach’s replacement during the summer but the highly-rated England C international has had a difficult start to life in between the sticks at his new club.

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Fraser Kerr of Hartlepool United in action with Jonathan Barden of Sutton United 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)

Kerr joined the club from Gateshead at the back end of last season though his yet to recapture the form he displayed while at the Heed that made him one of the most highly-rated centre-backs in the National League upon his arrival at Victoria Park.

And Hignett was quizzed on the confidence of his new-look defence and goalkeeper following another disappointing home defeat.

“[Killip] is a confident lad and he’s alright,” the Hartlepool manager responded.

“He’s had a really tough start but you’ve got to back your ‘keeper, he’s come from Braintree and it’s going to take a bit of time for him.

“He’s got really good attributes and he’ll get better as he gets older and more experienced but at the moment he’s been asked questions.

“I think one or two of them playing here is a little bit intimidating for them, they’re not used to it.

“Ben was playing at Braintree last year and Fraser was playing at Gateshead where you’ve got 800 people going to the game.

“Here it’s a bit different where you’ve got 3,500 Poolies and things aren’t going your way it can get a bit raucous and in your face and you can understand that because you all want the same thing.

“I’m probably more disappointed than the fans are going home, I hate losing anyway but the frustrating thing for me is that I think I’ve got a team that shouldn’t be losing these games.”