Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett hoping to kick-start season at Maidenhead United

Craig Hignett is hoping to kick-start Hartlepool United’s National League season with three points at Maidenhead United this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Saturday, 10th August 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 10th August 2019, 9:00 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)

Pools go into the game having lost their opening two against Sutton United and Halifax Town. Meanwhile, the relegation tipped Magpies have enjoyed a positive start to the campaign with a 1-0 win at Stockport County followed by a 1-1 draw with play-off hopefuls Chesterfield.

A Josh Hawkes strike proved to be the difference between the sides when they met at York Road last season but the young midfielder is one of a few players expected to miss today’s game.

Luke Molyneux (leg) and Kenton Richardson (ankle) are still recovering while Luke Williams, Myles Anderson and Ryan Donaldson are training and in contention.

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Ahead of the match, Hignett commented: “[Maidenhead] have had a good start, I watched the Stockport and Chesterfield games and they look solid, workmanlike and really well organised which is something you get week-in, week-out in this league.

“We need to be the same but more clinical up front and take our chances when we get them – dominating the ball doesn’t get you anything.

“We’ve done quite well in patches in the two games we’ve played but we’ve got nothing out of it so that’s got to change and the quicker you can get the three points on the board the better.

“We go to Maidenhead, it’ll be a tough game away from home but one we go to expecting to win. I keep saying about the quality in the squad and we haven’t shown it yet but we’re not at panic stations.”

The 540-mile round trip is the first of many long ones for Pools to contend with this season.

“I don’t look forward to any of [the travelling],” Hignett smiled.

“I’d prefer all the games to be around the corner – so I blame Gateshead for that!

“The long trips are something we’ll get used to because we’ve got loads this year and we know they’re coming.

“But other teams have to come up to us as well it’s just we have to do it a little more often than most.”