Pools boss Craig Hignett returns with his weekly summer Blog to give fans an update direct from The Super 6 Stadium.
Hello everyone and welcome to my latest Blog here on the Official Website.
Work is continuing at a good pace behind the scenes and there is so much positivity around the place but I want to make it totally clear that the Club will continue to do things in their own time. That doesn’t mean that we’re not on top of things because we’re absolutely certain about where we are and where we need to go.
Whilst we really want to keep you all informed, we will only do that when things are done and dusted and not while we’re in the process of doing them but I do want to reassure everyone we have a very clear picture of what we’re doing and I feel like everything to do with this Club is on the up.
I also want to make it 100% clear that I am happy with the budget that is in place for next season, where we are with player discussions, what’s happening in terms of targeting new recruits and everything else that is going on at the Football Club at this moment in time. We’re in good shape.
We may be a long way from being where we want to be as a Football Club, but we are extremely happy with the progress we’re making in terms of putting together a squad which can compete at the top end of the National League. There’s no room for negativity within the Club, we’re all 100% positive about our plans moving forward.
We are making good strides ahead of the new season – and this is only the start. We can’t do everything that we want to do straight away, we have to just keep going at it bit by bit, and that’s what we’ll do until we get everything where we want it to be. We know what the Club needs and what it doesn’t need, we’re in the best position to judge and we’ll work as hard we possibly can to get it done.
We had a great bit of news earlier in the week when Nicke Kabamba signed a permanent deal here, we saw a fantastic response to the launch of our Season Ticket campaign and I can sense a real feel good factor building around the place despite the fact we’re not even in June yet.
Nicke has been great for us – not just because of what he’s done on the pitch but because of the type of character he is and what he’s brought to the dressing room.
He’s the kind of character we’re going to be looking for because we want a shift in mentality and our approach to how we do things in the new season. Bringing players in of Nicke’s quality and character helps with that so we’re delighted he’s signed the deal.
I think when we looked at a permanent deal for him, some may have worried that location would be an issue. As well as that, because he did so well for us – not just in goals but his overall contribution and work rate – there was always going to be other interest in him but he loves it up here. He really bought in to what we’re trying to do and our vision for the Club so that’s a massive positive for everyone connected.
We’re still in talks with a number of our players and that will continue, though there is a timeframe set upon it. Once that is passed, we’ll see where we stand and then we’ll make it a priority to let fans know.
I have spoken to a lot of potential signings again this week and, as ever, there will be disappointments along the way. However, we have a lot of targets on our list and we’ll make absolutely sure that we get the right people in to the Club for 2019/20.
I just want to get it across to everyone that I genuinely care about this Club. I could have sat on my hands and done nothing last year but I care about this Club and I only want the best for it.
We’re at the very start of the process to get us back where we want to be. Naturally, there will be ups and downs along the way but I am absolutely determined that I won’t fail and I am absolutely determined to make this Club better, and I know I will do it.
What we need to do is make sure we all stick together now and moving forward. I can’t do it on my own, the players can’t and the fans can’t either – it has to be a joint effort from the whole Club and the community as well. If we can do that and we can bring success, then it will feel a million times better if we all know we’ve played our part together.
I want to thank everyone who got in touch last week on the back of my first Blog – I really appreciated a lot of the kind comments that came in and I can assure you that they all drive me on.
We had one question in from Glenn Purcival, who wrote:
“Hi Craig, I spoke to you briefly after the Sutton game when Hartlepool tried their best. How do you make sure players give 100% and what do you do if they don’t?”
Well, I remember speaking to you at Sutton, Glenn – it was a great conversation about passion and what fans want to see from their players.
I guess in answer to your question, I would say that it’s my job to motivate the players and to make sure they buy in to what we’re trying to do. If standards drop then you have to fix it, whether that’s by taking a player out of the team, putting an arm round a player’s shoulder or whatever. It’s about working out what works with each individual.
I think we’ve got a good group here though, who are on board with what we’re doing. We want a Club that works hard, where everyone connected gives 100%. Our motto is ‘Never Say Die’ and that’s the type of football team I want.
We saw towards the end of last season that we were getting some of that. Even when we went behind in games people didn’t get too concerned because we came back from that so many times. That shows good character – though it would be nice to lead a game once in a while next season!
Anyway, that’s all for now. Let me know if you have any more questions and I will try and answer them next week.