Off-field issues are firmly behind Hartlepool United defender Scott Harrison, says boss Craig Hignett

Scott Harrison

Scott Harrison

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Scott Harrison has knuckled down and grasped what it means to be a professional footballer, according to manager Craig Hignett.

And now Hartlepool United, in their time of need, are reaping the benefits.

Harrison, after a brilliant first season at the club, fell by the wayside last season.

And the central defender almost left the club in the summer, after an indifferent 12 months at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

But, having knuckled down, Harrison is now starting to show everyone just how good Hignett always knew he could be. And that can only be to Pools’ benefit, especially as they currently have the joint worst defensive record in League Two.

Ahead of tonight’s clash with Morecambe, Hignett said: “Scotty has been in and out but shown a good attitude.

“I knew Scotty wasn’t the same player last season as the one I know. I gave him the chance to go and find another club if he wanted to, but knowing all the time that the door was open for him. He wasn’t coming back on what he was on, he had to prove himself again.

“He won the player of the year award, so proved what he is capable of, but then had a poor season.

“He was treading water. If anything he had gone backwards.

“He played at Bristol Rovers last season and hadn’t prepared himself properly. Half the stuff with the lads here is about preparing properly.

“I can tell them what to do, but I’m not with them all the time. I don’t know what they are eating or drinking away from the club.

“It’s a lifestyle thing. Scotty has knuckled down and knows what he needs to do to be a professional footballer.

“He has taken his chance.”

Now it is Hignett’s job to make the former Sunderland trainee a better player.

He continued: “It’s starting to sink in. He is learning.

“Scotty can get too worked up – he’s aggressive and always wants to win everything. He needs to recognise situations when you can go in and when you can’t.

“He’s a good pro now and sorted himself out.”