'If you are willing to try then the fans will stick with you' - Craig Hignett reacts to crowd criticism at Hartlepool United

Craig Hignett's side have won four points from their last six and sit 13th in the National League table.
Craig Hignett's side have won four points from their last six and sit 13th in the National League table.

Poolies have taken a battering this season - and that's only from within their own club.

Former manager Richard Money launched an astonishing attack on Hartlepool United fans last month, claiming they were contributing to negative performances on the park with their fury from the terraces.

Speaking to the Mail, Money said: "This is an angry club. This club is negative. Really, really negative."

The criticism does not stop there with recently departed striker Jake Cassidy, still actually on the payroll at Pools, adding to Money's comments.

Of the fans, he said: "I don't think they're good to many people, to be fair,.

"If it's not going well it's a bit poisonous. That's the stigma around the club. It's just a negative club.

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"A lot of people from the club have come out saying that and I don't think it's something that's going to change, unless they get promoted, which they're not going to do this year."

Manager Craig Hignett accepts the position of punters on the terraces.

He accepts that criticism will come his, and his players' way from time to time, especially when things don't go to plan.

But he also realises that performances on the pitch translate to the atmosphere off it in most cases.

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“It happens at every club," he said.

"The only way to change it is by winning games and as long as fans see players giving their all and putting everything in then they will accept it. For me, as a manager, that could be a given. Show those qualities every time you play, regardless of the game.

"You expect everyone to work hard, be committed, to run and if fans think it’s not happening then it will show everyone. It’s at every club, but it’s a minority of them who are overly-critical.

"I think our last home game (a 1-1 draw with Leyton Orient on Saturday) showed that if you are willing to try then the fans will stick with you. A flat first-half and the crowd could have turned, but they stuck with us. We turned it around, had a right go and the fans appreciated it.

"As long as they see it happening then it’s not a problem. Sometimes it seems players are not trying, not willing to express themselves and be hiding – that’s when you get the problems and Jake (Cassidy) has experienced some of those problems."