Pools must get nasty, says sent-off boss Craig Hignett

Pools' Billy Paynter (right) fights for the ball at Port Vale yesterday. Picture by Frank Reid
Pools' Billy Paynter (right) fights for the ball at Port Vale yesterday. Picture by Frank Reid
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Hartlepool United’s players need to get nasty, according to frustrated boss Craig Hignett.

And if they aren’t able to do that, the manager says he will have to go out and find players who can.

Pools surrendered their spot in the third round of the FA Cup, which could have brought great financial rewards, after putting in an abject, lifeless show down at Port Vale in yesterday’s 4-0 defeat.

And Hignett says that kind of performance is simply unacceptable.

“People have to look at themselves, me included, and see where we go.

“I can’t keep telling them the same things over and over again,” he said.

Pools look incapable of grabbing any game, be that against League One, League Two or non-league opposition, as proven against Stamford recently, by the scruff of the neck.

Nastiness is the problem says the Pools gaffer, who admits he will look to address the issue in the January window, should his players not buck up their ideas in the next few weeks.

“We don’t have anyone nasty,” he said.

“We lack proper voices, who can manage the game for us on the pitch.

“Far too many of our players go with the flow and go.

“They just go with what happens.

“We moved the ball slow in the game.

“The quality was really poor.

“We have decent players and I know that but we have to show it in games and we didn’t.

“It has to come from them, I’ve had my say and see how they react. It’s up to them. They have to learn and learn quick.”

Around 300 Pools fans made the trip to the Potteries in hope of cheering their side to cup glory.

Hignett says he was disappointed for Poolies who made the effort on the day, even though the manager himself was taking some stick from the travelling fans.

“I am disappointing to say the least,” he said.

“As a supporter I wouldn’t be happy to see that.

“I’m gutted.

“It’s sickening as it’s not what we wanted to happen. The same goes for the fans, too.”