Dave Challinor addresses Hartlepool United's 'big miss' from Saturday's defeat to Maidenhead United
Hartlepool United’s 4-2 defeat at home to Maidenhead United on Saturday further highlighted the importance of one particular player – Gary Liddle.
In Liddle’s absence due to suspension, Pools suffered their first defeat at Victoria Park in 2021 against the 10 man Magpies.
As clinical as Maidenhead were, Hartlepool continually struggled with long balls forward into the box and looked a far stretch from the side who had previously won 12 and drawn one of their last 13 at home.
The 7-2 win at Wealdstone remains the only game Pools have conceded more than one goal in this season with Liddle in the side. His sending off in Monday’s 1-0 defeat at Bromley is also the only match the side have lost in which the defender has featured in this season.
And Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor felt Saturday’s defeat would have gone differently had the 34-year-old been available for selection.
“You’d be stupid to say he wasn’t a big miss because of the result we’ve got,” he told The Mail. “What it did do is show that the mistakes we made are compounded with Lidds not being in the team with his experience at the back.
"Do I think we would have conceded those goals with Lidds on the pitch? Absolutely not, because he’s an organiser, not a loud one, but he’s a calming influence and on this occasion our two centre backs weren’t good enough.
“They weren’t at the races and all of the goals have come down the middle but they’ll take it on the chin and be better for it.”
Liddle is back available for Saturday’s trip to Aldershot Town.