Dave Challinor reluctant over potential return date for Hartlepool United at Eastleigh with long away trips to Yeovil Town and Barnet coming up

With Hartlepool United facing upcoming long away trips to Yeovil Town and Barnet, manager Dave Challinor is reluctant to add a 600-mile round trip to Eastleigh to the schedule.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 12:30 pm

Saturday’s National League match at the Silverlake Stadium was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch and will now have to be replayed within the next 40 days as per National League rules.

Due to rearranged fixtures and FA Cup commitments elsewhere, both clubs have Saturday, November 28 free as it stands.

It provides an ideal opportunity to play the match quickly and on a weekend.

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Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor (Credit: Christopher Booth | MI News)

But with Pools making a 650-mile round trip to Yeovil Town this coming weekend before venturing down to Barnet the following Tuesday, Challinor isn’t welcoming the idea of having his side travel around 1,750 miles and spending over 30 hours together on a coach in the space of a week, especially in the current climate.

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“We do a lot of travelling this month with Yeovil away this weekend then straight back to Barnet on Tuesday night which we’ll do on the day,” said the Pools boss.

“There would then be a possibility to come back down to Eastleigh the following Saturday.

"As much as we want to play, we want to give ourselves the best chance of winning.

"I’m not too sure how many teams will have done Yeovil, Barnet and Eastleigh away in the space of seven days.

"Especially with the climate we’re in, as much as we’re being careful with the protocols we’ve got in place, we can’t afford one person to get the virus.

"We’ve spent six hours on a bus on Friday, six hours back on Saturday and then next weekend will be the same before 10 hours in a day for Barnet and back so we need to be really careful.

"If we’re trying to play all of these games and someone does contract it then everyone would have to self-isolate for 14 days which means we’d probably miss four games which isn’t a situation we want to get into.”

With November 28 the only free Saturday or Tuesday night for Pools for the next month, it is looking likely that the match will be rearranged for that date, meaning Challinor’s side are facing a tough week on the road.

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