Craig Hignett wants all his Hartlepool United players to become the club’s saviours.
The new Pools manager took his first training session yesterday and was happy with what he saw. “Everyone is going to be important to me,” said Hignett, who replaced the sacked Ronnie Moore earlier this week.
“I want players to step up and show me what they can do, not be scared to get on the ball and not play with any fear. I’m not going to have a go at anyone losing the ball, I want them to try things, in the right areas. I’ve told them that.
“I want them to express themselves. While results haven’t been up to it and performances haven’t either, the group of players I’ve seen on the training ground is more than capable of beating teams around them.
“The quality I’ve seen, the intensity and tempo took me by surprise a little bit.”
Hignett worked wonders with on-loan Peterborough striker Luke James when he was last at Pools – 14 of the then teenage forward’s goals in the 2013-14 season came when the ex-Boro favourite was coaching him.
Hignett was impressed with the 21-year-old against Stevenage on Tuesday. “I watched him play the other night and I thought he was terrific, he looked like the old Luke,” said Hignett.
Hignett said that there would be a change of style and conceded that it may take time for the squad to become in tune with his methods. “We have to get away from where we are and I need to get my ideas across,” he said.
“I did some of it in my first training session and we will do a lot more work today.
“I could have bombarded them with everything straight away, but there’s no point.
“We’ll do it bit by bit and they will soon know. It might take three, four, five, six weeks but they will know what I want.
“I know I only got the job a couple of days ago, but I am well prepared because I’ve wanted a challenge like this for a long time,
“I know what to do and how I will do it.”
While Hignett has time to get his methods across – Pools still have 20 League Two matches left – his first one is just 24 hours away, with relegation rivals Yeovil visiting Victoria Park tomorrow.
The Glovers have overtaken Pools – albeit on goal difference and having played three games more – after a run of two wins and three draws in six matches.
Given that he has only had two days on the training ground, Hignett is unlikely to deviate too far from the side which lost 2-1 at home to Stevenage on Tuesday.