Dave Challinor reacts as frustrations continue for former Sunderland winger Luke Molyneux following three match red card suspension
Luke Molyneux will miss the next three games for Hartlepool United after picking up a straight red card during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Weymouth.
It was the first dismissal of the 22-year-old’s professional career and the latest set-back in what has been a stunted season for the former Sunderland youngster so far.
Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor couldn’t argue with the high foot sending off as his frustrations to bring out the best in Molyneux continued.
"The red card certainly won’t help him," Challinor told The Mail.
“It’s been tough for him because he was the player at the start of the season who was knocked back with Covid after having a good pre-season.
“That put him out for the start of the season. He played a run of games but picked up a little niggle and that’s resulted in him missing a few more again.”
After an injury hit first full season at Victoria Park, Molyneux has been limited to just seven league starts so far this campaign, scoring once in a 3-1 win at Yeovil Town back in November.
The winger hasn’t started a game since the defeat at home to Boreham Wood in early December with Pools subsequently switching to a formation utilising wing-backs opposed to more traditional wingers.
But Challinor is still trying to find ways to fit Molyneux into the side once he’s back available.
The Pools boss added: “We’ve changed our shape which you look at and can question where does he fit in?
“We played against Sunderland the other week and he did well as a left wing-back in the first half and then as a number 10 in the second and was really effective.
"He’s trained really well but he knows that for a player of his ability we need more end product from him. He should be scoring double figures in terms of goals and creating as many if not more.
"Now it’s even more frustrating for him now that he misses the next three games. I know he didn’t mean [the red card challenge] because he’s not that sort of player but it certainly doesn’t help him with the games he’ll now miss.”