Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett wants his players to realise their 'Premier League' potential

Craig Hignett believes some of his Hartlepool United players have the potential to play at the very top level of English football – they just need to realise it.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 06:00 am
Craig Hignett of Blackburn Rovers celebrates goal number seven during the Premiership match against West Ham United played at Ewood Park. (Credit: Gary M Prior /Allsport)

The United boss wants to see his players ‘put their minds to it’ as he looks to bounce back from a difficult start to the National League season ahead of this Bank Holiday weekend double header.

After losing three of their opening five matches, Pools travel to Chorley on Saturday before welcoming Wrexham to Victoria Park on Monday.

Hignett has spoken openly about his opinions on modern professional footballers this week though kept things vague in reference to his own players, some of whom he feels have the potential to play in the Premier League.

“I know we’ve got players here who could play in the Championship, who could potentially play in the Premier League if they put their minds to it, graft and improve,” he said.

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“They’ve got to realise that they’re not the finished article here, nowhere near. But it’s a massive step for them to become a finished article.”

Hignett played in the top flight for Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City over his 21-year career.

“I didn’t have anything that half our players have got,” admitted the Pools boss. “But I played in the Premier League with what I had.”

“I can’t think of a player not having that desire to go and do it and play in the Premier League.

“Imagine what it’s like to play in the Premier League? It’s the best feeling ever, oh my god.

“You’ll be earning 60, 70, 80, 90 grand a week for a bang average player in the Premier League and that’s without being a superstar.

“You score 10 goals a season in the Premier League now and you’re suddenly earning 180 grand a week, it’s nuts!

“But I don’t know if that seems that far away from these lads now where because of the money and that and they watch it on telly, I don’t know if they think ‘I’ll never get there, ‘I’m happy here’ and subconsciously stop themselves from doing it.”