Antony Sweeney got an early chance to speak to new boss Colin Cooper last week and the midfielder has admitted his excitement at working with him ahead of the new season.
The 29-year-old has a respect for what Cooper and Hignett have done in the game and is looking forward to learning from them in the coming campaign.
“I’m excited about it,” Sweeney told hartlepoolunited.co.uk.
“Obviously it is never nice to lose a manager but on the flip side of that, there is an excitement about someone fresh coming in with new ideas.
“It’s always interesting for the first few weeks with everyone trying to impress and seeing how the new Manager will work.
“They have a massive reputation in football and a lot of local knowledge as well. I know that I grew up watching Craig (Hignett) and the Gaffer play and I have seen the pieces on the website about their careers and I am sure the lads are going to tap into that knowledge.”
And Cooper has already shared some of his plans for the new season with Sweeney - and now the midfielder is raring to get back into action,
“Everything is just positive, he was just getting a feel for the place, what was going on, how pre-season plans were going and just to get his point across really.
“He is really looking forward to coming here and he is excited for the challenge and hopes the players are as well and I am sure every one of us will be.
“I think over the next few days, we will see the interviews with him and get a bit of a feel for what he’s about and the excitement will start to build.
“He mentioned some of the plans he has in place for the Club and they are all exciting and positive and to be honest, although pre-season will come about quickly, it can’t come quick enough for me. I’m itching to be back now.”
While the Pools players left for the summer downbeat after relegation, Sweeney insists they must use this disappointment to spur them on for next season’s assault on League Two.
“It is never nice to go down but on the flip side of that, we have had a couple of seasons in a tough division where we have struggled to get results.
“We have never really got on a good winning run but when you drop down a division, you can get into that winning feeling as we did the last time we were relegated. And we need to try and do it again and maybe go one further – we just need to aim high.
“We are more than capable of achieving something. We need to use the disappointment of going down a league to our advantage and then hopefully we won’t be feeling disappointed with 4 or 5 games to go next season if we have something to play for in that league.
“And then hopefully we can get back into the league we were in and we will be used to winning and we will know that we can compete again.
“I am sure the Gaffer wants to have a good season – I know he does – and the players have to want that as well and I am sure everyone will be excited for the new season.”