Michael Woods says Hartlepool United’s midfield is loving boss Craig Hignett’s football philosophy

Michael Woods goes on the attack for Pools; Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Woods goes on the attack for Pools; Picture by FRANK REID

Michael Woods says Hartlepool United’s midfield is loving the football philosophy implemented by Craig Hignett.

While Pools have lost their last two outings, admittedly to automatic promotion favourites Accrington (second) and Oxford (third), the play remains as good as it’s been.

It’s the sort of football and style I’ve been brought up

Michael Woods

SportMail reported on Monday that Hignett believes he has a midfield capable of taking Pools to promotion.

Woods has not started singing from that Hignett hymm sheet, but says he and his colleagues, Nicky Featherstone and Lewis Hawkins, are happy with the way Pools are performing in that area.

They form the central trio with Nathan Thomas and Jake Gray providing the width as well as the support to lone striker, Luke James.

“It’s worked well, it’s a formation that suits us,” said the former Chelsea youngster.

“It’s the sort of football and style I’ve been brought up on and it’s the same for Nicky and Hawksy

“The gaffer’s asked us to do it and we’re enjoying it.

“If we can be more ruthless in the final third, then I think you will see even better results.

“We played some good football at Oxford, I don’t know how it looked to the fans watching but, for us, we felt comfortable in possession.

“To be able to say that and be like that against a promotion side is a testament to how far we’ve come.

“It was just that little final decision, that final pass to get us in which we probably didn’t have.

“But with the ball it did feel comfortable.”

There have been a number of outstanding performers in the reign of Hignett, with Featherstone right at the top of the list.

The Yorkshireman was left out following Hignett’s first game but made a quick return and has been invaluable in the middle of the park.

And Woods says it is Featherstone who makes things tick.

“Nicky complements us so well, the way he plays allows me and Hawks to get forward which we like to do,” he said.

Featherstone, Hawkins and Woods - and their team-mates - have another test of their footballing calibre this Saturday.

Pools sign off at home against another promotion-chaser, Portsmouth.

Pompey are currently sixth in the table and are guaranteed a play-off place, though their form has been a little erratic.

Pompey are currently sixth in the table and are guaranteed a play-off place, though their form has been a little erratic.

Pools are 10 places below them and will be looking for a result to seal 16th position but they can go no higher with Barnet enjoying an eight-point buffer.