Dave Challinor delivers verdict on Notts County plus Hartlepool United team news
Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor says he was surprised by Notts County’s decision to sack manager Neal Ardley last month but admits he won’t know all the details.
Pools will host The Magpies this weekend, with both sides challenging for promotion from the National League.
Notts County who replaced Ardley with Ian Burchnall, are fifth in the table and nine points behind second-placed Pools, but do have five games in hand.
Asked if he was surprised with the decision to sack Ardley, Challinor said: “I think anyone from the outside looking in would say they are surprised by the decision, I suppose Notts County fans would have different views on it.
“None of us, including ourselves, Notts County supporters, know the absolute ins and outs about what’s gone on, the targets that have been set behind the scenes and where their vision is as a football club – short term, medium and long term.
“But from the outside looking in, to change a manager when if you win your games in hand you go second doesn’t look hugely sensible, but we don’t know all the information.”
Notts County lost their first league game under Burchnal but have won their last two against Wrexham and Woking.
Striker Kyle Wootton, who has scored 12 National League goals this term, missed the Woking win through suspension but could be recalled.
“There are question marks to whether he will come back in or will they go with what they finished with,” added Challinor.
“Will they be slightly more defensive knowing what they want from the game?
“They have changed the shape in recent weeks so will they go with that same shape?
“I think in football matches there are lots of unanswered questions, you’ll be able to get some answers before you kick off in terms of shape in some instances, but you need to work it out as quick as you can on the pitch.”
Pools will be without goalkeeper Ben Killip who could miss the rest of the season after suffering ligament damage in his elbow.
Forward Rhys Oates will be assessed due to a tight quad.