Brad Walker is back at the heart of Hartlepool United – and it’s all down to a little bit of TLC.
Walker returned to the Pools side in Saturday’s late 2-1 defeat at Luton.
After an uncertain start at Kenilworth Road, the teenage midfielder impressed and looks set to retain his place for the big showdown with runaway leaders Northampton Town this weekend.
Walker had found himself out in the cold under previous boss Ronnie Moore, with Wolves showing strong interest in him.
But Hignett has made no secret of his admiration for Walker and his hope that he can extract the best out of him.
“With Brad, it’s called love I think,” smiled Hignett. “Brad knows what I think of him and I just felt in training that he was starting to be his old self again.
“He’s been really good in training in the last few days of last week.
“With the couple of injuries he had, it gave me the chance to play him and see what he was all about in there and he didn’t let me down.”
Walker flourished in the Pools side coached by Hignett when Colin Cooper plucked the then 16-year-old from the youth team and into the League Two squad in the summer of 2013. Now 19, Walker has lost his way over the last year or so, but the new Pools boss sees hope for the future.
“I thought Brad was terrific,” said Hignett. “He grew into the game.
“He had a slow start, was a bit unsure about what he was doing, but once he realised his role and knew what he was doing he was like the Brad of two years ago.”