Craig Hignett’s focus at Hartlepool United this summer has been on ‘value for money’ as he looks to assemble a competitive squad while carefully managing his budget.

Hignett has been able to tie down the majority of last season’s squad with Scott Loach the only player offered a new deal to go elsewhere. The former United number 1 joined Barnet last month.

Carl Magnay’s future is still up in the air as he’s yet to agree a new deal at Pools though a move to National League North side Spennymoor Town is an option for the defender.

In addition, Pools have recruited six key targets, Nicke Kabamba, Michael Raynes, Ben Killip, Luke Molyneux, Gime Toure and most recently Gus Mafuta.

This has Hartlepool’s squad arguably looking stronger going into the 2019-20 season than it did last season – despite operating on a smaller budget.

“We’re never going to compete (financially) with the top paying sides in this league,” Hignett admitted.

“But that’s not a bad thing as it just means we have to be smarter and a little bit cuter with how we do things and how we try and recruit and bring players in. Maybe look at using the loan market to our advantage, but it has to be the right player.”

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