Dave Challinor gives Hartlepool United players benefit of the doubt for ‘flat’ performance at Oldham Athletic
Dave Challinor felt Hartlepool United were off the pace at Oldham Athletic on Saturday afternoon despite picking up their first away point of the new season in League Two.
The match finished goalless at Boundary Park thanks to some last ditch defending from both sides during the game.
Oldham had lost all of their previous matches at home in League Two so far this season and sat at the foot of the table.
So did Challinor view it as a good point for his side?
“It's frustrating but it's a point and you have to take it,” he said. “We kept a clean sheet with a little bit of luck at the end, that’s a positive.
“Taking things on individual merit, we haven't picked up a point away from home until now so is it a good point?
"We haven't performed as we wanted but it's a decent point if we follow it up with a win on Saturday.”
Challinor then admitted he was willing to excuse his side’s lacklustre display due to a difficult week of travelling which saw them return from a 600-mile round trip to Sutton United at around 4:15am on Wednesday morning.
Pools lost the match 1-0 at Gander Green Lane having made the long journey on the day opposed to staying overnight at a hotel.
And the Hartlepool boss suggested the travelling had a ‘hangover’ effect on his side.
“There's a frustration because we're better than what we showed today,” Challinor told The Mail. “We looked flat and I get that with what we've had this week in terms of the travelling and stuff but those are things we need to look at.
"I'll give the players the benefit of the doubt if we're back at it on Saturday. The turnaround when you've got back to back away trips and a long Tuesday night trip is always going to be tough and there is always a fear of a potential hangover which I thought we got a little bit today.
"The game was flat but we came out of it with something which is a small positive.”