Dave Challinor discusses challenging Torquay United in the National League as Hartlepool United look to return second with win over Solihull Moors

Hartlepool United could return to second in the National League table with victory over Solihull Moors this evening (6pm kick-off).
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Meanwhile, Sutton United reclaimed second place with a win over Stockport County, who responded with a win at Yeovil Town on Saturday to climb up to third. Newly promoted Altrincham also moved level on points with Dave Challinor’s side following a surprise win at league leaders Torquay United.

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And the Pools boss feels the promotion race is opening up at the top of the fifth tier.

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor discusses the league table.Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor discusses the league table.
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor discusses the league table.
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“The nature of the league, people think it’s a surprise for Altrincham to go to Torquay and win but their away record is really good,” Challinor said.

“They’ve had to acclimatise to the division as a promoted team and get used to the standard. They’re where they are on merit and Sutton have shown what a good side they are so there are no massive shocks.

"If I’m taking positives from [the results], it just shows how good our win was against Sutton last weekend.

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"When you don’t have a game, you look at other fixtures and see what best suits us. It’s opened it up a little bit. Sutton could catch Torquay with their games in hand but Torquay are still well clear on points.”

Torquay currently sit nine points clear of second place Sutton having played three games more while Pools sit 10 points off the top with two games in hand.

At this stage in the season, Challinor’s focus is simply on winning matches rather than catching Torquay.

“I’m not particularly looking at Torquay,” he admitted.

“Regardless of what they do, we still have to win games so we can only control what we can control. If we win and Torquay lose then great but we can’t control what they do except in the one game where we go there later in the season.

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"We’ve got to concentrate on what we do and keep ourselves in and around the top as long as we can and we get an opportunity to do that by playing.”

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