Dave Challinor not 'personal' with team selections at Hartlepool United as he explains difficult decisions

Dave Challinor is facing some difficult team selection decisions in the coming weeks as players return from injury while he eyes further additions.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 1:44 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor and Gary Liddle embrace at the end of the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Stockport County at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 25th January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor and Gary Liddle embrace at the end of the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Stockport County at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 25th January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

While the Pools boss has admitted it will be difficult to change his side following last weekend’s impressive 2-0 victory over Stockport County, he has challenged his players to give him a selection headache.

Luke Molyneux and Josh Hawkes are back in contention to start ahead of Saturday’s trip to Barnet while some players remain likely to stay on the bench or not involved entirely.

When discussing conversations with those players who aren’t involved, Challinor said: “I’ve been there myself, so as much as you may think they’re difficult conversations and I’ve looked at a manager and thought ‘I don’t really care what you say, I disagree with you, you’re talking rubbish’ that’s it.

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“What you’ve got to do is take it in the right way and use it as motivation in order to support the team because things have gone full circle in a few days for us.

“This time last week, every player I’ve had fit would have been in the squad.

“Then we signed two players [Macauley Southam-Hales and Timi Odusina] on Thursday and on Saturday I’ve had to leave four lads out who weren’t at 100% but still could have been involved.

“All of a sudden, we’ve got people back involved so what the players have got to do is make it difficult for us to pick a team.

“If they do that every week and make my job difficult then that’s where I need to be.

“On the flip side of that, if they make it easy by producing what they have on the pitch, the lads out of the squad have got to be waiting for their opportunity.

“That could come around really quickly and when they’re out there, they need to do everything they can.

“If they do everything they can and I still make the decision to mix things up, I’ll take responsibility for that.

“None of the decisions we make are personal, they’re all for the benefit of the team.”