Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett shows his frustration with injury situation with a strong message to his players

Craig Hignett has hit out at some of his injured Hartlepool United players who ‘aren’t doing enough to get fit’.

By Dominic Scurr
Friday, 16 August, 2019, 08:31
Craig Hignett speaking with Luke Molyneux during pre-season. Picture by Frank Reid

Pools currently have several players out injured with Luke Williams (knee), Luke Molyneux (foot), Josh Hawkes (hamstring), Kenton Richardson (ankle), Nicke Kabamba (ankle), Peter Kioso (calf) and Gus Mafuta (foot) all struggling.

With the issues mounting up, Hignett has questioned the attitude of some of his players as he’s desperate to play his strongest 11.

“It will be nice to get an 11 out on the pitch that you envisaged at the start of the season but at the minute we’ve got seven who are struggling,” he said.

Josh Hawkes suffered a hamstring injury for Pools in pre-season (photo: Frank Reid).

“We have to look at why we’re getting these injuries and why they are taking ages to clear up.

“The buck stops with the player, is he looking after himself the way he should be?

“I’ve got a few of them like Ryan Donaldson who are chomping at the bit but I’ve also got some who aren’t doing enough to get fit and need to look after themselves a little bit better and have a bit more desire.

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“It’s no good just coming in and going through the motions because it doesn’t just happen, you have to look after yourself properly so that’s the message that we’re putting into all of the lads.

“We’ve got some lads who are good professionals and will do it and some where it will go in one ear and out the other.

“It’s my job to make sure those lads do it because if they don’t, they won’t be playing.

“I know the lads I can trust who will run through brick walls but I also know the lads who need mollycoddling and need to be perfect before they play, but that’s not how football works.

“I can’t remember a game I played where I felt 100% fit apart from at the start of the season so I think we’ve lost a little bit of that and the modern day footballer is a little bit soft if I’m honest and they only want to play when they’re 100%.

“Unfortunately, you’re never really 100% fit during the season, some of them need to understand that.”