Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett drops team selection hints as he talks tactics and versatility ahead of Eastleigh trip

Craig Hignett has discussed formations and playing players out of their natural positions at Hartlepool United ahead of today’s trip to Eastleigh (3pm kick-off).

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 8:00 am
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Woking at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th September 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News )

Tuesday night’s draw against Chesterfield saw full-backs Kenton Richardson and Peter Kioso play centrally and midfielder Gavan Holohan positioned at right wing-back.

Discussing his side’s tactics and team selection this afternoon, Hignett commented: “Today I’ve got a choice, Aaron [Cunningham] should be fit.

“I could probably have a more balanced team if I change it a little bit so that’s a decision I’ve had to make this week.

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“Aaron had a sore knee on Tuesday so the choice was between Rom [Crichlow-Noble] and Kent and Kent’s left-foot is just as good as his right-foot so left side’s no problem for him.”

Richardson is one player Hignett has heaped the praise on so far this season but the Pools boss also hailed the impact of his other versatile defenders.

“He's been excellent and I have to say he’s come back this year and he looks a different player, a different lad,” added the United manager.

“In the games he’s played, he’s been absolutely top class and how someone hasn’t come in for him I don’t know.

“Peter is the same, Peter will play left, can play right, can play right-sided centre-half. So I didn’t really see them as playing out of position.”

“Gav is different but we played him against Carlisle as a right-sided wing-back and he did really well and proved that he could do it and he was solid again on Tuesday.

“With Gav, the position he’s playing really is a right-sided midfielder which he’s played before. Because he’s playing as a perceived wing-back, it doesn’t mean he’s playing as a defender.

“We played 3-4-1-2 the other night, sometimes it’ll be a 3-4-3 but the wing-back position I see as more of a midfielder.

“If we’re away I might play a more defensive player in that position who can still do the up and down bit but I see that position as really a right-sided midfield player.”