Craig Hignett wanted his Hartlepool United team to score the first goal against Notts County – and now he wants them to score four against Newport County!
Pools opened the scoring last Saturday for the first time this season but suffered their maiden league loss of the season after their visitors from Nottingham pegged them back.
The message from Hignett is similar this weekend – to score first – but then to add more to their tally, not allowing Newport a way back into the game.
Hignett was annoyed last Saturday by Pools’ relaxed attitude after breaking the deadlock and he has spent the week in training trying to prevent that from happening again.
“It’s a big game now against Newport,” Hignett said.
“I wanted two really positive home results to really kick us on but we haven’t done that so it’s important we get a positive result on Saturday,”
“I want to score four, that will be the message!
“I’ll tell them not to drift, don’t just go along with the game, actually impose yourself on the game.
“It’s easy to drift, carry on without any thought. The time when we start managing games better is when we’ll look a real good team.
“There was definite periods in that Notts County game where we were coasting and didn’t recognise when we had the ball and when we didn’t have the ball.
“We were very spread out as a team and we’ve done a lot of work on that, so it shouldn’t happen.”
Hignett has spent all summer debating over his preferred formation.
He started with his unfancied 4-4-2 against Notts County but reverted to 4-3-3 when they went behind.
The conundrum is simple for Hignett – does he set his team up to be defensively sound or to be attacking?
“We’ve changed the club’s mentality, we now go out to win games whereas last season we were a club that went out not to get beat and be hard to play against,” he said.
“But we have to got to get the balance between all out attack and defending when we haven’t got the ball. At the moment we don’t have that.
“I don’t like 4-4-2, but it’s the only way we can play all our attacking players at once at the moment, and it has got us results.
“I feel it will as the season goes on too, but I’ve got to decide whether to be tighter and lock up a little bit more or say, ‘right, we’ll score one more than you’.
“We do control the game better at 4-3-3. We may not create as many chances, but I just feel a bit more solid. That’s something for me to look at.”