Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett on setting his standards higher than National League opponents
Saturday’s opponents Dagenham & Redbridge proved to be Hartlepool United’s toughest test of the National League season so far.
The 3-1 defeat at Victoria Road ended Pools’ five match unbeaten streak in the league as Craig Hignett’s side dropped to 11th in the table while the Daggers climbed to fifth.
It was the first time United had conceded three times on the road with Hignett accepting that the better side won on the day.
Hartlepool have rarely been so troubled this season as they were at Dagenham as their previously solid back-line endured a difficult afternoon in East London.
The Daggers were arguably the most difficult opponents Pools have faced so far this season but Hignett insists won’t be taking a leaf out of their book – he’s aiming higher.
“Dagenham were good but their performance wasn’t the standard I set for us because I think we’ve been better than Dagenham in games we’ve played so far and I want to be better than them and every team in this league,” said the Hartlepool manager.
“They were a dogged side who knew what they were doing but I didn’t see anything from them that we haven’t got or aren’t capable of doing ourselves.
“Dagenham deserved to win, they’re on a good run but we gifted them goals and to be honest they’ve been gifted a few from other teams this season and it’s not purely down to luck, it’s because they work hard.”
Moving forward, Hignett is looking at the bigger picture of remaining within touching distance and pushing for the play-off places.
“One defeat is not a disaster and it’s not going to be,” he added.
“You’ve just got to keep at it and try to be as consistent as you can be.
“I’ll take another run where we’re unbeaten in five again before we lose another one because if we keep doing that then we will be in the play-offs come the end of the season.
“It might not be good enough to get us where we want to be but I’ll take it so next Saturday for me is a massive game against Dover.”