CRAIG HIGNETT hopes Hartlepool United will have a new manager in place in the coming week.

Pools lost 2-1 at the Super 6 Stadium this afternoon, throwing away their lead in injury time when they conceded two Dagenham goals to lose a seventh successive game.

Despite a much-improved performance, Pools still ended the game feeling utterly despondent.

Liam Noble’s first-half penalty gave them the lead and they looked set for victory until the injury time capitulation.

“It’s a sucker punch, I feel like I’ve been battered. In parts I was so pleased, but it’s remembered for the ending,’’ reflected the stand-in boss, who as director of football will oversee the recruitment process this week.

“It’s happened a lot to us with a soft underbelly – and it needs addressing, but for 89 minutes we were fantastic.’’

Hignett replaced the tiring Mark Kitching with Connor Newton – and both the visitors’ goals came down Pools left side.

He said: “I wouldn’t dig people out like that and Connor knows what is required, he’s held us hands up in the dressing room we win together, we lose together.

“People come on, get up to pace, be ready but he’s an experienced player and he knows.

“We conceded two quick goals again – experience, fitness? In front they normally go into their shell, but not today – stayed high, defended well and I didn’t stand there feeling in trouble.’’

Of the need to appoint a new manager, Hignett added: “I want to go back into management but not here, this is a great club with a chairman with a vision and ambition. A manager coming here will come in and be supported to the hilt. I miss it, the training and coaching but I’m here to protect his investment, not to fritter it away and I‘m better being upstairs to look after it.

“We have had a lot of applications; a lot of good ones and we draw up a list over the weekend and hopefully speak to people soon.’’