Craig Hignett says he expects this evening’s friendly with Sunderland to be a competitive affair as his side make the next step up in their preparations for the new campaign.
The Premier League outfit will make the trip to Victoria Park in pre-season for the third time in five years and Pools boss Hignett is delighted to be welcoming them for the game.
“It’s our first home and game and it’s a good one to open with,” he explained.
“Sunderland have been good enough to come down and play us and we thank them for that; this is a really good chance for our lads to pit themselves against players they wouldn’t normally come up against.
“I’ve not worked with Sam Allardyce but I know him well from seeing at various events and he’s a top man, a great manager and good company so I’m looking forward to seeing him.
“It will be a massive test for them; the lads at Sunderland are playing at the highest level and that’s where I want our players to aspire to so tonight’s game will give them a gauge as to how far they’ve got to go.
“There will be a great atmosphere I am sure – I know Sunderland are bringing a few and there’ll be plenty of Poolies in too so it’s the kind of game everyone should want to play in.
“Although it’s a friendly I am sure it’s going to be competitive because the players will want to put on a show for the fans and show that they are ready.
“From my point of view I want to see the lads showing that they have understood what we’ve been working on for the last two or three weeks and I am sure they will.”
Hignett will include a trialist in his squad for this evening’s game, with versatile defender Liam Donnelly training with the Club following his release from Fulham.
“It’s just a case of having a look at him really,” Hignett revealed.
“Tommy Miller has watched him a few times so we’ve got him in to train with us for the last couple of days and he’ll play some part against Sunderland so we can have a proper look.”
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