SO HOW do you solve a problem like getting out of the National League?

Hartlepool United are in the wrong half of the table for the second season in a row and, 12 months on from the club being saved from financial doom, focus is turning to the next campaign.

Pools, under Craig Hignett, will have more of a go next time and they want to get the ball down and move it around.

Solihull are making a go of it this time. They gave on Saturday a masterclass in National League football. Plenty of teams have a direct, firm approach; some do it because they are limited. Big boned centre forward latches onto a long ball from big boned centre half. Simple.

Moors might be big physically, they might get the ball forward and lump set-pieces into the penalty area, but they have a way of playing that is very effective.

They never missed a challenge, or the chance to challenge. It was the most complete team performance seen at the Super 6 Stadium this season.

They are third, a point off top spot, have 12 points to play for and could be promoted.

Their manager, Tim Flowers, admitted: “I thought we were sensational from start to finish – a consummate performance against a good side, who are on the up.

“With Craig in charge, they have quality players in the front six - a real exiting side to watch.

“It was as well as we have played all season. Front foot, out of the blocks, at it with challenges, getting the front three high up the pitch.

“How we want to play, how we set out to play in this division… I felt that was as a good an exhibition of how to play in this division for a long, long time.’’

Horses for courses? Salford have changed tack and have opted to go long and direct and they are top.

Would Hignett sacrifice his principles?

“You need a bit of everything, but that was two different styles,’’ he admitted. “I am probably a bit too far at one end of the spectrum and they are at the other.

“Tim (Flowers) has looked at this league and picked players to suit – their front three, big powerful lads. Midfielders - no frills, solid and get about. Centre-halves the same, solid all over without being spectacular but being consistent.

“It’s not the best who get out of the division, but the most consistent. I’m probably guilty of playing too much football and need to go the other way – I’m not going to go the other way, but I’ve got to find a mix, a balance.

“We have some big lads, but our big lads can play and we need some more aggressive people.

“That’s what we will improve on. I’m happy with what we have got and make it better – similar and better. You improve, you get to a certain level with players and I’m not there yet. Performances have been consistent and at a good level and we lost the last two when we could have got something from them.

“Salford have changed their outlook, after they played Solihull – went massive against them and beat them and stuck with it.

“They will run over you, batter you and not play intricate football. You have to stand up to it and I can see why they do it and there’s no right or wrong way to get out of this league. Orient play football, but you do need power at times against the likes of Solihull as they will cause you massive problems.’’

It could have been game over in the first-half. Scott Loach made four saves, three of them spectacular stops, to ensure the score was 0-0 at the break.

Pools had one chance all game, a looping header from Nicke Kabamba to meet a Luke James cross which was well saved.

But the only goal came when Loach tried to punch a corner away, but the ball spun up in the air. He grabbed it, but dropped it and it bounced loose for Adi Yussuf prodded in.

Hignett said: “I feel for Scott, I really do. He was outstanding and kept us in to half-time, then he makes a mistake when we are on top. I can’t criticise him for the performance, I want him to come out and catch more and punch more and I will accept the odd mistake.

“Loachy apologised to the lads and we all said there’s no need to apologise – he did enough first half to earn his wages for the next two months.’’

Pools were much improved in the second half as they got the ball down and tried to stretch the opposition out wide.

Peter Kioso attacked the right flank when he could, and Mark Kitching was introduced on the opposite flank to do likewise.

But they never quite got the ball in the right areas, perhaps, as Hignett admits is an issue, they were too intricate at times.