Dave Challinor discusses the biggest challenge of managing Hartlepool United in League Two

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor has revealed what he believes is the biggest challenge of managing in League Two compared to the National League.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:48 pm

Challinor became a Football League manager for the first time in his career after guiding Pools to promotion from the fifth tier last season.

It’s been a quick turnaround and learning curve for everyone at the club with Challinor honest in admitting the transition has been difficult.

But he feels his biggest challenge as a manager is not dealing with the step up in quality or shortened pre-season, but rather the constraints of a transfer window.

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Dave Challinor, Hartlepool United Manager applauds supporters after being defeat during the Carabao Cup match between Hartlepool United and Crewe Alexandra at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 10th August 2021. (Credit: Will Matthews | MI News)

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"Undoubtedly the biggest challenge is the transfer window,” Challinor told The Mail.

"You are judged around having the right players in to get you from 31 August to 1 January.

“That challenge becomes further enhanced by the fact that we don’t have an under 23s team, we don’t have a youth development programme if you like so we are going to be those 20 or so players and we have to make sure we get that right.”

As a non-league manager, Challinor was able to strengthen his side whenever needed due to the lack of a transfer window during the season.

"That proved beneficial to Pools last campaign as whenever the side needed bodies, Challinor was able to recruit the likes of Jamie Sterry and Luke Armstrong, both of whom proved crucial in helping the side earn promotion.

But he won’t have that luxury this season.

“Come the middle of October, November if we’ve got six injuries, no one cares and we’ve still got to put a team out that’s made up from the squad we have,” he added.

"That’s the biggest challenge and one that makes you a little bit nervy as to how it will work.

"Getting it right is going to be massively important and hopefully we can do and we’re in a position where we have no injuries and see everyone through and we have too many players with five knocking on my door wanting to be in the squad, that would be a great problem to have.”

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