Lewis Hawkins says Hartlepool United’s squad are buying into the Craig Hignett philosophy and it will start bringing its rewards.
Pools have had a mixed start under their new boss with a win and two defeats, though they should have claimed something from both of their last games.
Hawkins is one of the members of the squad who played previously under Hignett, along with Michael Duckworth, Luke James and Brad Walker.
The 22-year-old says it is an exciting time for Pools and is confident things will turn for the club.
“I know the gaffer from when he was here when Colin Cooper was in charge,” said Hawkins.
“He’s come back and obviously he wants his own way of playing.
“I think all the lads are adapting to his style and hopefully we’ll continue to build on it.”
Hawkins has proved one of the ‘drivers’ of the Hignett vehicle.
While he was left out for the new manager’s debut match in charge, the win against Yeovil, he was brought on as sub in the second game where Pools were staring down the barrel at half-time against Notts County.
The energetic midfielder helped raise the side in that second half fightback which should have produced at least a point.
And he shone at Luton too, where Pools again should have gained a draw, until Craig Mackail-Smith’s late winner.
But Hawkins says the side showed what they are capable of and are building confidence from that.
“We have the players here to play good football, it’s about getting the belief to play when we can,” he added.
Hawkins says Hignett’s man-management style will be one of the key factors in turning Pools around.
“He’s spoken to a lot of the lads one-to-one to try to bring the best out of us,” said the Middlesbrough-born player.
“I think he’s very good in that way.”
Hawkins was set to line up in the centre of midfield today in the daunting task of stopping runaway leaders Northampton Town at Victoria Park.
It’s the start of a busy week for Pools who have a difficult trip to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night before another journey, to Barnet, next Saturday.