MANAGEMENT in 2019 is, to a certain extent, redemption for Craig Hignett.

A little over two years after he was sacked by Hartlepool United  he’s back in charge; in control with a difference.

There’s no outside interference, no meddling from the chairman, no disagreements with those above him, and no concerns about when his players would be paid.

Pools in 2019 is a stable, professional business under the ownership of Raj Singh.

It’s fair to say he the club wasn’t on such firm ground last time around.

Hignett has lifted the fortunes of the team, with only two defeats in ten going into today’s game at Eastleigh.

“It’s been I’ve been everything promised it would be,’’ he admitted of taking charge in January. “The chairman had told me what to expect and he hasn’t disappointed.

“He’s been straight down the line, like I knew he would be, I wouldn’t have got him involved with the football club if I didn’t know what type of character he was and I’ve got a great relationship with him.

“So, I know when he says something he’ll stick to it and to have that kind of support behind you, because you do need support as a manager you can’t just get on with it yourself, perhaps I didn’t have it last time, I’ve certainly got it this time, so it’s down to me really.”

The players are performing with a smile and without pressure with a positive outlook encouraged and engineered on the training ground.

Performances are sharp and last weekend’s win over Wrexham was a throwback to happy days of old. The crowd was entertained. It was a proper game of football.

“The easy bit for me is coaching the lads and getting them to play and looking after them,’’ said Hignett.

“The hard bits are the other bits that come with it where they’re not getting paid and things that aren’t football things that you have to deal with that’s hard as a manager.

“I’ve got no worries like that this time all I have to worry about is how we play on a Saturday and it’s not going to go well every week but I know that nothing else is going to come in the way and make it harder for me.”

It’s a year since Singh, with Hignett his director of football, took control with the help of Jeff Stelling.

It was the most traumatic of times under the two previous regimes, but things have settled down off the field now.

Financial issues which were regularly popping up in the first few months of Singh’s ownership have stopped. The chairman, however, did have to shell out over £70,000 when an unpaid tax bill for season tickets from the summer of 2017 landed unexpectedly. It is hoped that is the end of the financial surprises.

“It’s nice that they’re all under control,’’ mused Hignett. “I don’t think they’re all sorted but they’re as sorted as they can be.

“Every rock you turned there was something else under it, but we’re not finding that no more we just got the same people wanting the money that they’re not due so that’s in the hands of the solicitors to deal with.

“But as far as the club and the football and the running of it everything is really stable and good and I think you can tell with the atmosphere around the place how much more stable the club is than it has been in recent years.”

The final day for National League registrations passed on Thursday. Hignett recently landed Adam Bale from Sunderland and Gavan Holohan from Galway United in Ireland.

There’s only five games to go after today and with no issues to play for, Hignett was relaxed about the need to add to his squad this week.

He said: “We’re not desperate, I’ve had people phone me this week to see if I want loans, what do I want loans for there’s six games left I’ve rather play the lads here who are trying to earn contracts.

“I’ve got to have a proper look at Gavan Holohan, I need to see Adam Bale play and the other lads won’t want to miss games either.

“So I’ve got competition for places and everyone's chomping at the bit at the minute to get in.”

Today’s opponents are after a play-off spot and Hignett said: “I’d like to think the run we’re on we on we can go anywhere and give anyone a good game, I hope that’s the case against Eastleigh but I know that there’s a lot of work to be done you know we’re not the finished article we want to improve we want to get better so we’ll be working towards that.’’