Pools boss Craig Hignett pens his first Blog of the summer as he aims to keep fans updated on the work going on at The Super 6 Stadium.
Hello everyone and welcome to the first of what I am hoping will become regular Blogs over the summer here on the Official Website.
I know that at this time of the year there is always going to be plenty of speculation and rumours flying around so every week I will take a little time to bring you up to date with what is going on here at the Club.
People might think that the Manager disappears on holiday at the end of the season but that’s not the case at all. I have been very busy over the past week putting plans in place for 2019/20 and getting down to business in terms of our squad.
I have had meetings with a few players and we have offered a few people contracts. Some people you have to talk around, others have received offers and we’re waiting to hear back but there is a timeframe on those and I won’t hang around forever.
We have a plan of where we want to go and we would like to get our business done sooner rather than later but, knowing how this time of year works, players will be players and they will want to tie everything up and see what’s happening so you often have to be patient.
One of the important things for me is to make sure that the players we’re targeting know about the project we have going at the Club and we let them know exactly how ambitious we are and what the plan is going forward.
I don’t like talking to players over the phone all the time, I would rather make a journey to see someone personally and make sure they know how much I want them to sign. I actually thought that would be quite a common thing in football but I learned that it wasn’t when I became a Manager at Pools the last time.
I just think it’s a big part of it. As a player, I would have wanted to sign for the Club and the Manager who showed the most interest and made it clear how much they wanted me to do the deal. That’s why I don’t mind travelling around and putting in the miles because sitting down face-to-face in front of a player shows that we really mean business.
I know there are lots of you asking about the Club’s retained list and I appreciate how interested you all are in that. All I can say is that we’re working on things behind the scenes and we are all really happy with the progress we are making. I promise that the minute we have some confirmed information to share, we’ll get it out to the fans.
I’ve found time this week to watch a lot of football and also been watching a lot of players too. I am travelling to Wembley for the National League Play-Off Final on Saturday too so I am looking forward to that.
I have to say that I got some respite during the week watching all the brilliant football in the Premier League and Champions League. Obviously it all started with that Vincent Kompany thunderbolt on Monday night when I think everyone just sat back and said “Wow!”
Liverpool would have been hurt by that Manchester City win and, being 3-0 down to Barcelona, they could have perhaps been expected to throw the towel in for the second leg! I have seen enough of Liverpool this season to know they have so much character but it was still extraordinary to see what unfolded.
I think Anfield and the fans there certainly played a part. There have been a lot special European nights there and it can freeze the best of teams – and I think it was clear that’s what happened to Barcelona as it went 1-0, 2-0, 3-0! How many times would you see a team of Barcelona’s calibre concede a goal from a corner like that fourth the other night? There were about five of them facing the wrong way! It just never happens – but that Anfield atmosphere can change people.
You think you’ve seen it all after that but then Spurs somehow manage to come from three goals down in 45 minutes against Ajax. It just goes to underline that football is an unbelievable sport and you don’t even have to be a supporter of the clubs involved to get carried along. I am a Liverpool fan but I was cheering and willing Spurs on as the goals went in.
Seeing Chelsea and Arsenal make it four English teams in the European finals just capped the week off in great style. I think the only disappointment is from the stories we’re hearing about the ticket allocations for the clubs. For Arsenal and Chelsea to get 6,000 each is really poor and I don’t think it’s much better for Liverpool and Spurs. It definitely needs looking at.
Anyway, that will do for this update. If any of you have any questions then send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer them in next Friday’s Blog.