Craig Hignett: Hartlepool manager is confident in new additions for the coming season

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Hignett pleased with squad ambition

Hartlepool manager Craig Hignett has strong belief in the players he has brought in during the summer transfer window for the coming season.

Hignett, 46, has made four signings in Lewis Alessandra, Padraig Amond, Aristote Nsiala and Nicky Deverdics.

The former Pools midfielder helped the club climb from 22nd to an eventual 16th place finish last term, and avoid relegation to the National League.

"They were all our first choices," Hignett told BBC Look North.

"We went and spoke to a lot of people - myself and Curtis (Fleming) travelled up and down the country and I'm delighted they've all decided to join us.

"I think they'll benefit us massively, the four we've got in are all top players."

Bolstering the attack

Former Rochdale forward Alessandra is the most recent of the four arrivals, adding to the already signed Grimsby duo Amond and Nsiala as well as midfielder Deverdics.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed stints at Oldham, Morecambe and Plymouth - most recently completing a short loan spell at York City, scoring two goals.

"Lewis has played at a real good level," said Hignett. "He's a clever footballer, fit and exactly what we need with our style of play and our philosophy.

"He feels like he's got a point to prove and they're the type of people I've tried to bring in - ambitious, hungry and want to do well."

Play-off push

This summer's recruitment has been Hignett's first chance to add to the squad, having inherited Ronnie Moore's pool of players on his return to Victoria Park.

With his first pre-season training schedule now under way, he is not looking to change too much from last season's setup.

"I've got options with the lads I've brought in, I can play different ways if I want to but the basic way I play is the way played last year," Hignett continued.

"That's how I like to play, that's how I think the lads suit it. The players I've brought in are ambitious and that matches my ambition as well.

"I don't want people coming here who are coming for a payday or they're coming to just end their career, I want people who are going to push on and want to play higher and want to do well for themselves."

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