New Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett reveals why he is ready for first management job

New Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett (right) with former boss Colin Cooper
New Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett (right) with former boss Colin Cooper

Craig Hignett has waited a long time for his first crack at management - and he is delighted to have been given the chance at Hartlepool United.

The 46-year-old has been handed the reins following the sacking of Ronnie Moore, with Hignett returning to the club he left in 2014.

Colin Cooper's former No 2 left Pools to become Aitor Karanka's assistant manager at Middlesbrough but he is back at the club now - and desperate to make a success of his first job in management.

Pools are third bottom in League Two, just four points clear of the bottom two but Hignett isn't daunted by the task facing him.

And he has revealed the vision of chairman Gary Coxall helped sell the job to him.

"After speaking with the chairman late this afternoon and hearing his vision for the Club and what he wants in the future, I have bought in to all of that," said Hignett, who will meet the players for the first time on Thursday.

"It's a blank canvas for me so I can come in and mould things the way I want them and for a first-time manager to be able to come in and do that is fantastic.

"The big thing for me was the project and what the Chairman wants to build and the foundations he wants to put in place – for me that was a big draw.

"It's not often a manager comes in and has free reign to build a Club and put things in place that they want in place and make it a solid club.

"It shouldn't matter if I am here or the next manager or the manager after that, it needs to be solid and I think it’s important for this Club to do that.

"It's important that I know some of the lads, I know all the office staff and I know the Club really well – and I do feel like I have unfinished business here."

Hignett is yet to assemble his backroom staff, but former Middlesbrough defender Curtis Fleming has been linked with a move to Victoria Park.

Sam Collins, Ronnie Moore's No 2, will remain at the club but will be looking after the club's Under-21 players.

Hignett will take charge of Pools for the first time against Yeovil Town on Saturday at The Vic, a crunch clash at the bottom of the league.

"I am clear in what I want, how I want to play and how I want to do things," said Hignett.

"I have enough experience now to know the job – even though I’ve never been a manager I have done everything but and had two spells as assistant that have gone well for me.

"I am ready to be a manager now; I have got my own ideas and I want to do it the way I want to do it, not the way someone else wants me to so I can’t wait to get started.

"The future of the Club and what we’re trying to build is important but the short-term aim has got to be to get away from the bottom two.

"We've got some games in hand, I know that, and I have to get my views over to the players and let them know how I want them to play because there will be a change in style, that’s for sure.

"There’s a lot of work to be done but I am massively excited by the challenge," Hignett told the club website.