Dave Challinor discusses battles and the one 'bright spark' for Hartlepool United in 5-0 defeat to Torquay
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Pools found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening 15-minutes following a Danny Wright brace and were trailing 3-0 at the break as Ben Whitfield added to the scoreline.
Wright completed his hat trick before substitute Gary Warren made it 5-0 as Pools suffered their heaviest defeat since dropping into the National League in 2017.
Challinor’s side had made an encouraging start to the new season having gone six unbeaten ahead of Torquay’s visit to The Vic.
So it came as something of a surprise to see Pools so badly off the pace from the start.
“You start with how we started, Torquay looked like they wanted it more from the first minute,” Challinor said.
“I certainly wouldn’t put it down as an off night from us. You can have an off night technically but you should never have an off night in terms of the battles that are there to be won.
"It becomes a psychological thing which tells the opposition, I’m not going to let you get a kick, I’m not going to let you do anything to me, I’m going to be aggressive and win the battle.
"That’s what football is about and we didn’t do that at all tonight. It’s 10 v 10 in general play without the goalkeepers and in the main, it’s about one player having to deal with their opposite number."
Challinor was very critical of his players and his side’s ‘kamikaze’ defending, but he felt one individual was able to take some credit from the game.
He added: “Every single Torquay player won their individual battle tonight perhaps with Mols [Luke Molyneux] being the exception for us because he was a bit of a bright spark down the right-hand side and was a threat for us.
"The dynamic of the game changes when we played two up top but we needed the next goal when it was still 2-0.
“If it’s 2-0 at half-time, you’re not out of it but we gave the goal we gave away to make it 3-0 and that’s a killer and it was game over from there.”