Pools boss will stick with one up front

Pools boss Craig Hignett

Pools boss Craig Hignett

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A Hartlepool United system switch is off the agenda, according to boss Craig Hignett.

Instead, the gaffer will ignore calls for a move to play two up front and stick with what he knows.

Hignett has admitted that he is no big fan of 4-4-2. And it seems that despite calls for Billy Paynter to be thrown in to the starting XI at Barnet in League Two this weekend, to provide some much-needed support for Padraig Amond, Hignett will continue to emply his 4-3-3 formation of recent weeks.

He said: “Last weekend taught me that I cannot play 4-4-2. We are too open. It didn’t really make a difference in the game when I actually went to 4-4-2.

“We just look more solid when we are 4-3-3. Another thing that I learned about my players is that now I can see who can handle the pressure and who can’t.”

Pools head to Barnet looking to stem the flow.

They have conceded six goals in their last two games, having previously gone six unbeaten before coming unstuck at Brunton Park.

Hignett knows that if his players serve up anything close to the defensive display of last weekend, where a 25-minute spell saw Pools go from 1-0 up to 3-1 down, they will struggle to get anything at The Hive.

Reflecting on last weekend, Hignett said: “The next goal was always going to be crucial. I said that to the boys at half-time.

“At half-time we were disappointed that we only 1-0 up. It should have been four.

“But we just weren’t clinical enough. We gave ourselves a great platform to go on but couldn’t take it.

“Their goalkeeper made some good saves but the three goals we conceded were three of the poorest goals I have ever seen.

“You will struggle to win games if you defend like that.”