Dave Challinor not concerned by Hartlepool United's disappointing 1-0 defeat at Sutton United
Hartlepool United suffered another away defeat at Sutton United but manager Dave Challinor is not concerned.
Pools’ 1-0 loss at Gander Green Lane was their third straight defeat on the road in League Two. The side created fewer shots (4) and conceded more (19) than any of their matches so far this season.
It was a one sided affair yet Hartlepool were still only a whisker away from securing a point.
“If we had got something, I'd have said it's what we would have wanted as an away performance,” Challinor told The Mail.
“We weathered a storm, came out the other side a goal down but created opportunities. If that led to us picking up a point coming away on a Tuesday night, it would have been a good point.
“We knew we'd be under the cosh and have to wait for a game to settle down. Sometimes depending on how teams set-up that takes 10-minutes, sometimes it takes the first half, 60-minutes, more, you have to deal with what's thrown at you and we knew that it would be difficult.
"I look at our strengths and it's no secret that we're not full of giants so when the ball is bombed forward, we've got to deal with that and then be good enough in possession to make passes and play through teams.
"Sometimes that's hard to do when the opponent is fresh and relentless. First half the game didn't settle down and we weren't good enough in possession to relieve the pressure.
"We dealt with it pretty well in the main but we conceded. The second half, the game is stretched and the momentum changed and we were able to create opportunities with the caveat of them still being able to get bodies and balls forward and win free kicks.
“I've never seen a game with so many free-kicks given. That's what the game was.”
Commenting on Ben Goodliffe’s 25th-minute winner, Challinor added: “We knew we'd have to defend from set-pieces coming here and that's exactly how it turned out with 15 corners, 15 free-kicks and 25 long throw-ins. They're all individual moments and those can go a long way to impacting the result.
“Looking at the goal, I'm always going to be critical of people and we spoke about it before in the hotel about goalkeepers dominating their six yard box but [Ben Killip] didn't do it well enough, the defenders who are marking didn't do well enough.
"It comes down to desire and there are some things that will happen where you concede goals but it's the manner we're conceding which is obviously disappointing.”
Pools are yet to pick up a point away from Victoria Park this season, yet their home form remains perfect with four wins from four.
“We're putting more pressure on our home form by not winning away,” Challinor continued.
"If we're not in games and we're losing them then I'd be more concerned. Looking at it, the five goals we've conceded away from home have all been preventable.
"The last two away games we haven't scored in but we scored two at Barrow and didn't defend well enough to get something. Results aren't going our way and we've tweaked things but I'm not concerned about it but our focus is on Oldham now.”