'He's got to learn' – Craig Hignett's message to Hartlepool United defender Aaron Cunningham following third penalty conceded

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett doesn’t want his young players beating themselves up over their mistakes.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 6:16 pm
Aaron Cunningham of Hartlepool United in action during the Vanarama National League match between Dagenham and Redbridge and Hartlepool United at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, London on Saturday 14th September 2019. (Credit: Ian Randall | MI News)

Defender Aaron Cunningham conceded a penalty for the third time this season during Hartlepool’s 1-1 draw at Eastleigh over the weekend.

Unlike the previous two penalties, the 21-year-old was let off the hook by a fantastic save from Ben Killip.

And Hignett is hoping Cunningham will learn from the mistake but also how to move on from it while on the pitch.

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“He’s got to learn from that, there’s no point beating himself up over it when he’s playing,” he said.

“He’s got to get it out of his head during the game because it’s gone. As a young player it’s hard to put that to the back of your mind but it didn’t cost us because Ben made a great save.

“He should be thanking Ben but not letting it impact his game.

“I think Aaron has got better this season and looks much more mature but he’s got to realise that if you don’t keep your concentration and don’t do your homework a little bit because you’ve got to know who you’re playing against.

“He fouled a centre-half for the penalty. Their lad was going to have to do really well to come up with a bit of magic and smash it in the net from the position he was in so Aaron just needed to stay on his feet and shepherd him out.”