What's the Craic?

BILLY'S CONTRACT feels like having a whinge

Strange Days. A winding up order for Pools from HM Revenue - the second within 5 months - is a tad worrying and brings back bad memories of  Garry Gibson's time at the club and all that ensued. 

The club stated that the outstanding bills have been paid and it was just an administrative error. Funny admin error as Pools ending up paying  the court costs which could have been better spent on the team. This would never have happened on Russ Green's watch. Correct me if I am wrong but did the club ever replace him?

Recently there have been conflicting statements from the club's hierarchy. Gary Coxall publicly stated that Pools would be bringing  in two new players during the January transfer window.  Within a couple of weeks the manager tells the Mail that we are not signing anyone during the January transfer window and he is happy with the resources that he has got at his disposal. Oh, how I laughed, I was nearly hospitalised.

I am surmising that it fully was the club's intention to bring in some new faces based on the premise of Nathan Thomas being sold on. Obviously with his long term injury that is not  now going to happen.

After the last minute defensive mistake that cost Pools the game at Doncaster, Craig Hignett said that there would be no wholesale changes to the team for the following match, three days later against Accrington Stanley. 
Three days later out go Richards, Jones and Carroll, which is 75% of the back four.

Rob Jones, having been given an unnecessary cameo last few minutes against his former club Doncaster, and who was at fault for the goal, didn't, unless he was injured, even make the bench. Now if that is not saying there is a problem I don't know what is. What was it that over the weekend made Hignett ring the changes? This action shows that the manager is not happy with his back four and it also raises doubts about his thinking and decision making. In one breath he is not going to change the side then on the day of the Accrington match the side is radically overhauled, not for the best and with a totally new formation.
"Hignett and Fleming are there to inspire and motivate the team and clearly this is not happening"

It was the same with Scott Harrison. Hignett correctly gave him a free transfer based on his performances of last season, only to re-sign him again at the start of the following season. What happened during the close season to make Hignett change his mind. To the outsider this shows indecision by the manager, and the same applies with his team formation(s). 

We are nearing the halfway point of the season and I firmly believe that despite trying every formation known to man, Hignett still does not know which is best suited to the players that he has available. Talk about Tinkerman.

After each defeat we keep hearing the same old same old story that the players were 'cruising' or were 'second best' or they were 'laboured' or the most recent comment from Hignett that they did not look sharp. Surely these problems should be laid firmly at the doorstep of the management team. 

Questions need to be asked as to why the players are laboured and do not look sharp? 
Did they have a poor pre-season? 
Are the players slacking in training? 
Are their fitness levels not up to speed? 
These problems should have been addressed by the management during the close season and not allowed to carry on into the season proper on a make-do-and-mend, match-to-match basis.

Hignett and Fleming are there to inspire and motivate the team and clearly this is not happening, as is proved by their repeated inept performances week in and week out. 

As for the win against Accrington, two-nil flattered Pools. Accy, like the majority of away teams who have played at the Vic this season, were the better side and even with ten men pushed Pools right until the end, until Alessandra's last-minute break away goal settled the match as well as the crowd. 

Hignett as we all know was hoping to snatch a play-off spot. He needs to forget about that and focus on getting as many points on the board as he can to keep Pools out of yet another relegation fight. That will be success. He must also realise that he cannot keep depending on Orient, Newport and Cheltenham to keep on losing each week as sooner or later one or all these teams might go on a winning streak, as Newport have of late.

As for the players, with the exception of Carson, Bartlett, Alessandra, Amond, Thomas, Donnelly and possibly Hawkins, I would scatter the rest of them including 90% of the reserve side and go back to the drawing board,  preferably without the existing management structure. 

On the plus side, somehow or other we have more points on the board than we did going into the previous two Decembers.

P.S. If 'Pools do manage to sneak a play off spot please disregard all of the above and apologies to all concerned.