Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett discusses National League officiating in build-up to FA ban

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett will serve a two-game touchline ban following a misconduct charge.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 9:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 2:34 pm
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Wrexham at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Monday 26th August 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News & Sport Ltd)

The Pools boss was charged on two counts of misconduct that led to his sending off during the National League defeat against Dover Athletic over a fortnight ago. He will serve the first of his two-game ban at Stockport County on Wednesday evening (7:45pm kick-off).

And prior to the Football Association hearing which took place at Wembley Stadium on Monday, Hignett had been openly critical about the standard of officiating in the National League.

“At the minute we’re not getting the rub of the green and officials aren't doing their jobs properly so I can’t level anything at the lads because they’ve done enough to win games that we haven’t,” he said.

“In football you go through stages like that where things do go against you and you have spells where nothing seems to go right for you.

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“You’ve just got to keep working hard and keep doing the things you’re doing and you hope eventually your luck will turn.

“People keep saying to me, ‘what goes around comes around and it’ll even itself out’ but we’ve lost ten points from referees’ and linesmen’s decisions so far this season so if that does even itself out I’ll be happy.

“And I’m convinced that it doesn’t matter what you do from day to day with your team, it depends on what the man in the middle does.”

Later, when pressed on whether referees can have such a considerable impact on his team’s fortunes, Hignett responded: “It does dictate it, it’s the be all and end all for everything.

“The result is the be all and end all and if other people are influencing that result through no fault of yours or the team’s then that’s going to have an effect.

“It’s had a massive effect on us and it’s happened right at the start of the season.

“We’ve got to try and get on with it, we’ve made some changes to how we do things on matchdays and how we interact with referees and officials.

“We’ll see if that changes anything.”