Craig Hignett has spoken of his excitement at the challenge that lies ahead after being appointed as the new First Team Manager at Hartlepool United.
The 46-year-old was announced as the successor to Ronnie Moore in the Pools hotseat on Wednesday evening after Chairman Gary Coxall moved quickly to land his number one choice.
Hignett will meet up with his players for the first time on Thursday morning and has revealed that it was the ambitious plans for the future that drew him to his first managerial job at Victoria Park.
“After speaking with the Chairman late this afternoon and hearing his vision for the Club and what he wants in the future, I have bought in to all of that,” Hignett explained.
“It’s a blank canvas for me so I can come in and mould things the way I want them and for a first-time manager to be able to come in and do that is fantastic.
“The big thing for me was the project and what the Chairman wants to build and the foundations he wants to put in place – for me that was a big draw.
“It’s not often a manager comes in and has free reign to build a Club and put things in place that they want in place and make it a solid club.
“It shouldn’t matter if I am here or the next manager or the manager after that, it needs to be solid and I think it’s important for this Club to do that.
“It’s important that I know some of the lads, I know all the office staff and I know the Club really well – and I do feel like I have unfinished business here.”
Hignett – who is working to assemble his own backroom staff – will be in the Pools dugout for the first time on Saturday when Yeovil Town are visitors to The Vic.
After a stint as Assistant Manager to Colin Cooper at Pools in 2013/14 and to Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough, Hignett insists now is the time for him to step up to the top job.
“I am clear in what I want, how I want to play and how I want to do things.
“I have enough experience now to know the job – even though I’ve never been a manager I have done everything but and had two spells as assistant that have gone well for me.
“I am ready to be a manager now; I have got my own ideas and I want to do it the way I want to do it, not the way someone else wants me to so I can’t wait to get started.”
Hignett inherits a Pools squad who sit four points above the bottom two in the League Two table and he’s determined to hit the ground running when he puts out his first team this weekend.
“The future of the Club and what we’re trying to build is important but the short-term aim has got to be to get away from the bottom two.
“We’ve got some games in hand, I know that, and I have to get my views over to the players and let them know how I want them to play because there will be a change in style, that’s for sure.
“There’s a lot of work to be done but I am massively excited by the challenge.”