Can Hartlepool United still make the National League play-offs with 15 games to go? Dave Challinor gives his answer

With 15 games to go Hartlepool United sit mid-table in the National League and five points behind the final play-off place.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Dover Athletic and Hartlepool United at the Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover on Saturday 11th January 2020. (Credit: Matt Bristow | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Dover Athletic and Hartlepool United at the Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover on Saturday 11th January 2020. (Credit: Matt Bristow | MI News)

A top seven finish has always been the target for Pools this season though they’ve scarcely threatened those positions in 31 matches so far.

Challinor is currently trying to use a free week on the training pitch to shape his squad ahead of Saturday’s match against Stockport County at Victoria Park.

And with 45 points still left to play for, the United boss is looking on the positive side going into the final stretch of the campaign.

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“Of course the top seven is still achievable,” Challinor said.

“Until it’s mathematically impossible for us to get there we need to keep going.

“You only need to look at the results at the weekend because the results are all over in this league. We need to put an unbeaten run together with wins because that’s what makes the difference.

“If we get a win against Stockport on Saturday then we’re looking forward again. We are aware that the longer it goes then you end up running out of games.

“There are teams now who have gone on runs and are right up there. Harrogate have gone on an unbelievable run and are up to second, Boreham Wood are right in there so it’s doable and we have to do everything we can to get one of those runs to put us right in the mix.”