CRAIG HIGNETT feels getting the right blend of youth and experience in his Hartlepool United squad is the key to success.

Pools take on Wrexham today, another former Football League club but one which has spent too long in this division. It’s 11 years since they dropped into the National League.

Today they sit third in the table, a point off top spot and focused on promotion. They include former Pools players Nicky Deverdics and Brad Walker in their ranks, although the latter is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Hignett is willing to give youth an opportunity at the club, with Josh Hawkes benefitting from a run in the side.

But the need to balance the youth with nous is important and he said: “You have to be careful you don't get the mix wrong.

“We need experience and youth. The right mix. We have that at the moment, it is important we don't lose that.

“I could be tempted to go for young players, because they listen, want to learn, but really you need experience, the right kind of experience, around them.

“We know what we need for next year.

“If that is people at the club then great, if it is not we people in mind who can come in of the same standard.

“We will be well prepared when the summer comes.’’

Pools signed David Edgar two weeks ago and the experienced centre-half impressed at Barnet as Pools kept a clean sheet last weekend.

He’s absent today, however, as he is with the Canada squad for their game with French Guiana in a CONCACAF Nations League qualifier tomorrow. On-loan left-back Danny Amos is also missing as he is part of the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad.

“David will be missed - he's come in and he's trying to get match fit. He’s done terrific, he’s getting fitter every game,’’ said Hignett.

“There are two lads who have been involved and done well for us that are missing. So it is a loss but we have enough people to cover it and it gives somebody else the chance to stake a claim.

“I don't know if it is possible to keep him here.

“What we said was come here, play to the end of the season, put yourself in the shop window. We will see where you are, you can see the club.

“Whether he will sign at the end of the season remains to be seen.

“But I do know he is getting better every game, he's a talker, an international, experienced - he is everything you'd want in a defender.’’

Pools lost at the Racecourse Ground earlier in the season, going down after Andrew Davies was sent-off for violent conduct.

Hignett said: “I was at the game and we were actually better with 10 men that we were with 11 and we put them under real pressure and I think they were a little fortunate to come away with a 1-0 win.

“So we shouldn't go into any game in this league fearing anyone because we know that on our day, if we are at it well match anyone. Just have to make sure we are at it.’’

Prices are reduced today to £10 adults and £5 commissions.

Last season’s game with Wrexham saw a crowd of around 7,000 as the town and the football community rallied around the club in their hour of need.

Reducing the prices is the club’s way of saying thank you and Hignett said: “Well it would be nice to get a big crowd and we have put an offer on. And we want to say thank you and the turn out that day was incredible and we have a lot of people to thank for that and Wrexham played their part massively.’’

Pools drew at Barnet last week, and Hignett added: “That's two in nine now that we have lost.

“Within that we could have got a lot more points I think. We've looked back at the Barnet game last week and even though we got a 0-0 draw and we were pleased to get a clean sheet, the goal that we scored, that was onside, those are the frustrating little bits that you'll need to go your way.

“Fylde had one that went their way and when we need that little bit of luck, we didn't get that last week – but I was pleased with the lads.

“This week being at home it’s another good chance to go out and have a real good go against a team that are flying high at the top of the league.’’