Notts County v Hartlepool UNited: CRaig Hignett wants more Pools magic
Craig Hignett is looking for more Hartlepool United magic tonight.
The Pools boss takes his team to Notts County with confidence high following the 5-2 romp at Morecambe on Saturday (kick-off 7.45pm).
It was almost the perfect performance, almost – Pools did leak two goals, the first time they have conceded more than one in eight matches.
However, Hignett was thrilled with how his side knocked the ball around.
So good was it that the possession stats showed Pools at 61%, an incredible figure away from home.
And Pools are on their travels again tonight at Meadow Lane and Hignett wants the same again.
“That’s how I want us to be with the ball,” said Hignett.
“It looked like proper football and some of it was brilliant to watch, it really was. I wanted them to play like it was a keepball session.
“I asked for them to pass it for passing’s sake and see what we got.
“Michael Woods was outstanding, coupled with Nicky Featherstone, Lewis Hawkins, Jake Gray and Nathan Thomas.
“They were different class and it all come together.
“We had the full-backs joining in too and what we asked for was what we got.”
The only downside was Pools conceded twice and given Notts County are not shy in front of goal he will not want any repeats of Saturday.
Alex Kenyon was left unmarked for the first goal and Pools gifted them possession before Ton Barkhuizen slotted in the second late on.
But should Pools regain their old solidity this evening, Hignett will fancy their chances after scoring five at the Globe Arena.
“I think because we were so good with the ball we maybe got a bit too loose, took chances (defensively),” said the manager.
“But in the final third we were quite clinical and it was good to see.
“We have been wasteful at times, especially at Carlisle.
“It was disappointing that night because we did not show enough care or make the right decisions, but at Morecambe we had those qualities in abundance.”
Pools are gunning for revenge tonight having lost 3-2 to the Magpies in the new manager’s second match in charge
When Pools lost that night, they were just three points above the drop zone and 12 behind Mark Cooper’s side.
How times have changed, though Hignett admitted he did not think he would turn things around so soon.
“When I got the job I felt the season would go down, maybe not to the wire, but not far off,” said the 46-year-old who puts the transformation down to the quality of the players.
“The way it’s gone, I could not ask for any better.
“The turnaround, how we are playing and the points we have got it’s been comfortable.
“It’s been easy to come in and implement what I wanted because the players are such a good group.”