HARTLEPOOL UNITED have passed the 3,000 season ticket barrier after the deadline for discounted tickets passed last night.

Pools sold over 300 on Friday as they have surpassed last season’s tally by around 400 as supporters react to the summer recruitment of manager Craig Hignett ahead of the new National League season.

Pools start at home to Sutton in a month and Hignett takes his side to Shildon on Saturday for their second friendly and he has signed six players this summer.

The manager admitted: “It’s been an amazing response. I am really pleased about it because the Chairman has really backed me this summer so it’s great to see the fans coming out and backing him.

“I said it at the start of the summer but the one message I will say is that we have to all be totally together now. As players, staff, fans, the club as a whole – we all want the same thing and I definitely think we’re slowly getting there.’’

He added on the club website: “The club has made massive strides behind the scenes over the summer and I think everyone can see that we have a much stronger squad than it was at the end of last season. Financially, the club is much more robust now so let’s stick together and drive things forward as one.’’

Hignett will be without Fraser Kerr at Shildon with the centre-half picking up an ankle injury, while Ryan Donaldson and Luke Williams will again miss out.

Carl Magnay is still training with Pools, after attracting interest from Spennymoor, but he is out of contract. It remains to be seen where he starts the new season.

New midfield signing Gus Mafuta, who arrived last week after being released by Salford will appear at Dean Street along with trialists Jason Kennedy, Liam Smith and Jack Spark.