Hartlepool United v Yeovil Town: I need all the players to step up says Craig Hignett

Luke James
Luke James

Craig Hignett wants ALL his Hartlepool United players to become the club’s saviours.

The new Hartlepool United manager took his first training session yesterday at their Maiden Castle HQ and was happy with what he saw.

The group of players I’ve seen on the training ground is more than capable of beating teams


Hignett worked wonders with Luke James when he was last at Pools – 14 of the then teenage striker’s goals in the 2013-14 season came when Higgy was coaching him.

The new Pools boss was impressed with the 21-year-old on Tuesday night when he made his first appearance of his half-season loan deal at his beloved Vic, against Stevenage.

“I watched him play the other night and I thought he was terrific, he looked like the old Luke,” said Hignett. “But everyone is going to be important to me.

“I want players to step up and show me what they can do, not be scared to get on th e ball and not play with any fear.

“I’m not going to have a go at anyone losing the ball, I want them to try things, in the right areas, I’ve told them that.

“I want them to express themselves.

“While results haven’t been up to it and performances haven’t either, the group of players I’ve seen on the training ground is more than capable of beating teams.

“The quality I’ve seen, the intensity and tempo took me by surprise a little bit.”

Hignett said that there would be a change of style and conceded that it may take a week or three for the squad to become in tune with his methods.

“We have to get away from where we are and I need to get my ideas across,” he said.

“I did some of it in my first training session and we will do a lot more work today.

“I could have bombarded them with everything straight away, but there’s no point.

“We’ll do it bit by bit and they will soon know.

“It might take three, four, five, six weeks but they will know what I want.

“I know I only got the job a couple of days ago, but I am well prepared because I’ve wanted a challenge like this for a long time,

“I know what to do and how I will do it.”

While Hignett has time to get his methods across – Pools still have 20 matches left – his first one is just 24 hours away.

And his first task will be to select a side to take on Yeovil for his debut match.

The Glovers have overtaken Pools – albeit on goal difference and having played three games more – after a run of two wins and three draws in their last six matches.

Given he’s only had two days on the training ground, Hignett is unlikely to deviate too far from the side which lost 2-1 at home to Stevenage on Tuesday night.

Pools (possible): Carson, Richards, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Magnay, Gray, Hawkins, Thomas, Paynter, James.

Subs (from): Bartlett, Harrison, Jones, Featherstone, Laurent, Walker, Woods, Fenwick, Bingham