'If he was fit then he wouldn’t be here long' - Craig Hignett discusses the possible return of Hartlepool United's Luke Williams

Hartlepool United midfielder Luke Williams is yet to kick a ball this season.
Hartlepool United midfielder Luke Williams is yet to kick a ball this season.

"I feel sorry for him. He's had a real bad time."

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett opens up on the struggles suffered by injured midfielder Luke Williams.

Former Middlesbrough man Williams has come in for criticism from some quarters having signed in the summer, but not kicked a ball for Pools this season.

Hignett cannot believe the bad luck the player has had since signing on the dotted line.

But he also admits if Pools had managed to get the player fit - he might already be having to field calls to sign Williams, who Hignett knows would be 'the best player at this level' if he'd put his injury woes behind him.

"I feel sorry for him. He's had a real bad time," said the manager.

"He’s worked really hard and all he wants to do play football. When I talk about quality and character, he’s got both.

"If he was fit then he wouldn’t be here long because of his quality. If we do get him right then he could be the best player in this league. He is still some way off."

While many might already have written off Williams playing any part this season, Hignett has not.

The manager is optimistic the 25-year-old could be pushing for gametime, most likely behind-closed-doors, within four to six weeks.

"I’m hoping to see him in four to six weeks hopefully. We will have to be careful and not just throw him in," said the manager.

"It wouldn’t be fair on him, he will need some games before he is anywhere near pushing for us.

"He’s running and had the ball out. But he’s been out a while, we do it bit by bit. If he comes through this week then we do a bit more next week with him."