Hartlepool Unitred boss Craig Hignett can’t wait for a full week on training ground

Craig Hignett (left) and first-team coach Curtis Fleming. Picture by FRANK REID
Craig Hignett (left) and first-team coach Curtis Fleming. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Hignett can’t wait for Monday morning.

It’s not that the new Hartlepool United boss dislikes Saturdays and Sundays.

I’ve been pleased with their reaction. It’s pleasing they are thinking about the way I want them to play


But the 46-year-old wants to get onto the fields of Maiden Castle and start a full-week of training with his squad.

It has been a hectic start of Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday games for Hignett but this week there is no midweek fixture – much to his relief.

“It has been a whirlwind and having a few games in such a short space of time so I have not had as long on the training round as I would have liked,” said Hignett, who took his side to Luton Town today.

“I am looking forward to getting Luton out of the way so I have a Saturday-Saturday week.

“I can get a lot done in that window.

“I have plans to do things next week that will make us better hopefully and a bit more organised.

“It’s a real struggle getting everything done that I need doing.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Hignett, who now has new first-team coach Curtis Fleming alongside him, was full of his praise for the squad and the way they have worked since taking control at Victoria Park.

“All the lads have been champing at the bit, trying to impress me,” said Hignett.

“I’ve been pleased with their reaction.

“It’s pleasing they are thinking about the way I want them to play.

“It’s a really young squad, I think we only have three over 25.

“It’s a real learning curve for them, a lot of them haven’t been coached before.

“Yes, they have been out and done stuff, but maybe not known why they have done it.

“Now there’s a method into how we do it and why we do it. There’s a reason behind everything we do.

“This is about changing the whole outlook, the club will adopt an identity.

“It will be quite similar to Crewe and how they go about it – they have ideals and a philosophy.

“They develop young players, bring them into the team and we want to set that up.

“I’ve been at Crewe and seen how it is done. Dario Gradi, for me, is a massive influence.

“He didn’t just look at the first-team, he showed an interest in the youth team and how they were playing.

“I’d like to do the same.

“At the moment, for obvious reasons, I’ve been busy with the first team.

“They have all been really good and sharp in training and that’s pleasing to see.

“Curtis commented on his first day saying ‘these lads look sharp’ and everyone will be given a chance.”

Indeed, Hignett says there are no plans to move any members of the squad out on loan.

Pools have a high number in the camp at the moment, a combination of a number of loan and permanent signings allied to stars coming back from injury.

A few heading out on loan would not be a surprise but Hignett says he owes all the players his attention.

There are a number of first-team squad regulars who are currently struggling to make it into the match-day 18.

But Hignett said: “I want to assess everyone and I want to give them all a chance to show me what they can do before I decide anything.

“I owe it to them really, everyone has a fresh start.”