The restoration of team spirit is the key to turning around Hartlepool United's National League prospects - Craig Hignett

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.
Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.

Restoring team spirit is key to turning around Hartlepool United's National League fortunes - that's the view of Craig Hignett.

Pools have taken four points from their last two games under Hignett and have climbed to 13th in the fifth tier standings.

A top seven push looks to beyond them this season, barring a miracle, and being drawn into a relegation fight also looks highly unlikely.

But Hignett is keen to restore pride and build some momentum between now and the end of April, with a big 2019/20 ahead.

"We try and build a team spirit, you want a solid dressing room with no cliques," said Hignett.

"I’ve had it before, I might have someone who will help me out if I'm having a bad game – if your mate is having a bad time then go and help them out.

"Team spirit is massive at this level and I’d much rather have good characters and good pros and sacrifice a little bit of quality, because it’s about spirit and unity."

Players get offered to the club every day, and some of the names would surprise fans.

But it's not always about getting the biggest names, or players who have once played at the highest level.

It's often those players who you have to avoid.

"There’s players in this league who should be playing higher, but they aren’t because of their character. The same goes for players who have dropped down," said Hignett.

"We are going for characters, for people who are good professionals who want to work hard.

"This is a squad game and I don’t want people sulking when they are left out."