Dave Challinor reveals his Hartlepool United midfield plans for ex-Notts County ace Tom Crawford

Tom Crawford in action for Notts County.Tom Crawford in action for Notts County.
Tom Crawford in action for Notts County.
Dave Challinor is looking forward to seeing Tom Crawford make his mark at Hartlepool United with the promising youngster a key part of his midfield plans.

Pools fought off competition from several National League sides to land the ex-Notts County man, Challinor having previously worked with him at AFC Fylde, Crawford featuring 10 times for the Coasters during their 2018-19 play-off final campaign, scoring twice.

Crawford became a regular substitute during the back end of the 2019-20 season for Notts County, scoring once in eight appearances, before being released in the summer.

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Several clubs had registered an interest in the England C international, including Chesterfield and former clubs Fylde and Chester.

And Challinor was delighted to sign him, with healthy competition for places in central midfield for Pools.

On where Crawford fits into the midfield plans, Challinor said: “The club were probably guilty last year of having too many midfield players, what we’ve got to try and do is have some variety between our midfielders.

"Now, certainly with those four, we’ve got four very strong midfield players and if we’re looking at playing three of them or all four of them, then we’ve covered bases there.

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"What we didn’t have in our midfield was another player who could be a sort of sitter, now what we’ve got with Crawfs and with Feaths to a certain degree, is two players who can do both roles.

"Feaths can play higher up the pitch because of his range of passing and ability to pick out a pass but he’s comfortable enough to play deeper and take the ball when people are around him.

"Crawfs is exactly the same and I’d say Shelts and Gav are probably a little bit different in that Shelts is more of a traditional box to box type where Gav is certainly more advanced and attacking.

"What it does is gives us different options and more cover with players who can play in a number of roles in that midfield area.”

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Challinor added: “Right throughout, with the way we play, we want to be high energy and play in the right way and on the front foot.

"There are a few who we’ve brought in who have points to prove and in some aspects, you don’t want any more than that.

"Tom broke onto the scene at Chester a few years ago and did well in a struggling side as a really young lad and got a move to Notts County which for him, has probably been a move where there’s been a lot of uncertainty at the club and changes of managers so he hasn’t really progressed as much as he would have liked there but hopefully he can do that with us because I know what he can do.

"I’ve worked with him before and he knows how we work which is a bonus and it’s up to him to come in and stamp his authority on the squad and show us all what a good player he is and I suppose get himself going and showing what potential he has.”

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