Dave Challinor has challenged on-loan Huddersfield Town star to show his 'swagger' after man of the match display for Hartlepool in Harrogate Town win
Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor has challenged match-winner Matty Daly to prove he belongs at a higher level after the 20-year-old scored his first league goal for the club.
Pools came from behind scoring three times in a remarkable seven minute turnaround against Harrogate Town at Victoria Park to move into the League Two play-off spots with the on-loan Daly picking up the man of the match award for his starring role.
Challinor’s side were up against it at the break after George Thomson and a Neill Byrne own goal had put the Sulphurites into a commanding lead.
But fullback David Ferguson gave Pools a lifeline seven minutes after the restart before striker Mark Cullen grabbed a quick-fire second to level the scores.
And just five minutes after, Daly stepped up to curl a wonderful left footed effort beyond the outstretched Mark Oxley to send Victoria Park into raptures.
It was Daly’s fourth goal for Pools, having scored three times in the Papa John’s Trophy earlier in the season, and Challinor believes his first league goal of the campaign will give the Huddersfield Town midfielder the confidence to develop his game and prove why he is capable beyond League Two level.
“I’d say, without taking this the wrong way, that he’s scored goals in games that didn’t really have massive meaning in terms of the Papa John’s or bounce games,” said Challinor.
“[But] listen, Matty’s a good player. You don’t play for Huddersfield in the Premier League and you don’t play Championship games if people don’t see something in you. He’s easy to deal with in terms of him as a character and him as a person.
“He’s had to adapt what he does because ultimately he’s playing in League Two and there are different requirements in League Two than there are in the Championship or in the Premier League,” Challinor added.
“We’ve spoken about it as a staff and with him as a player, around very good players he'll be a miles better player.
“He’s probably one that can get hold of the ball in tight areas and can wriggle out of situations and can thread a ball through for somebody else to go ‘stepover, stepover and smash it in the top corner.’
“But what we need from him, and it’s the first time we’ve seen it, is the swagger and that little bit of arrogance that says ‘my end goal is miles above this level.’ If he does that, then there’s a player there.”
Daly has featured in 11 of Pools’ 14 league games this season since arriving from the Terriers on a season-long loan deal, his first as a player. He is a product of Huddersfield’s academy and made his senior debut as a substitute in the Premier League against Watford in April 2019.
“It’s different because if you’re playing at Huddersfield, without being disrespectful, you’re playing with players at a lot higher level than we’ve got,” said Challinor.
“We just need a little bit more belief from him and hopefully that will do him the world of good in showing what he can do because to score the goal he did was worthy of winning any game.”