Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett previews Eastleigh trip as he welcomes the focus on football

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Eastleigh, Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett is pleased to be focusing back on football.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Chesterfield at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 24th September 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The past week has seen Pools in the eye of a racism storm following last Saturday’s serious incident at Victoria Park.

And when asked about the possibility of such events derailing Hartlepool’s entire season, Hignett responded: “It can and that’s what we said in the meeting after the game.

“Look, we can crumble and fold and become fractured or we can pull together and have a right go to prove the people wrong.

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“I can only speak personally but I’ve had a really tough week, probably the toughest week I’ve had and I’ve had some tough weeks at this football club. But that for me was because it affected so many people and it brought the club into a bad light. I’ve got a lot of feeling for this club, it’s a great club.

“The other night, whilst it was tough, they did show some togetherness. And I think if you look at the football, we haven’t been clinical enough. We created enough chances.”

It was in Tuesday’s game against Chesterfield that Hignett felt Pools drew a definitive line under the events of last weekend. To build on that, he called for his team to get back to winning ways.

“Well the message will be ‘go and win some football matches now’,” he added.

“We’ve had a real period where nothing’s happened, it’s been a tough period for the football club. Hopefully now we’ve drawn a line under it, although that work will continue, and we can concentrate on getting some results and climbing up the table.”

That work starts on Saturday away at Eastleigh, a team which Hignett believes has a lot in common with Pools.

“I think they’re the same as us,” he said. “They've had an up and down start, they’ve got some good players, they play good football.

“I expect a really hard game, especially away from home. I think they’ve got a threat, you know, they are a threat.

“It’s going to be a tough game and we’re going to have to be at our best.”