Dave Challinor preparing for contract crunch talks with Hartlepool United players with FOUR already signed up for 2020-21 season

Dave Challinor is continuing to assess his squad as he prepares to discuss new deals for players at Hartlepool United.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 4:45 pm

There are three months and 13 matches left in the current campaign and the Pools boss claims he only has four players currently contracted for next season.

Challinor could be planning a big clear-out over the summer but for now he’s keeping his cards close to his chest.

“We are going to engage in conversation [with players],” he revealed.

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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)

“The way things are at the moment we’ve only got four players contracted for next year, Ben Killip, Gus [Mafuta] has activated an option, Ryan Donaldson and Luke Molyneux are the four, I think everybody else is out of contract.

“We need to look at where we are, what the makeup of the squad is going to look like.

“We need to get a plan in place, a recruitment plan looking at short term, long term in terms of where we go as a club. If we can do that and get it right it can save us money in the long run.”

Challinor has already spoke of his intentions to try and make the loan signings of Gary Liddle and Mark Shelton permanent when their respective contracts at Walsall and Salford City expire in the summer.

Luke Molyneux of Hartlepool United acknowledges the fans following the FA Cup Third Round match between Oxford United and Hartlepool at Kassam Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney wasalsooffered a short-term, low-wage deal but is likely to remain on non-contract terms.

“You’ve got to look at where we are and how we want to play,” Challinor added.

“We are still assessing players and will be for the next three or so months and we’ve got to make decisions and football can be pretty ruthless.

“Ultimately players need to tick boxes for what I want from them and the way I envisage how we play when it comes to system and shape.

Ben Killip of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Barnet and Hartlepool United at The Hive, Edgware on Saturday 1st February 2020. (Credit: Jacques Feeney | MI News)

“Between now and the summer we’ve got a big job on to keep the players we want. I have a list of players we want to bring in so that come the start of next season, we are in a place to compete and get out of this league.”