Dave Challinor reveals message to Hartlepool United squad ahead of Stevenage test and reveals away travel insight
Dave Challinor has once again called on his side to be more ruthless and clinical in front of goal as he prepares his Hartlepool United side for a trip to Stevenage this weekend in search of their first away win of the season.
Pools are still on the hunt for their first three points on the road since arriving back in League Two this season but moved one step closer last time out on their travels after picking up a point against struggling Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.
While supporters may have been frustrated Pools were unable to capitalise on a troubled Oldham side, Challinor remained upbeat insisting it was a point in the right direction.
But Pools’ difficulties on the road bring a greater pressure on their form at Victoria Park with each passing week and Challinor knows his side must start to take more points away from home if they are to maintain their fine start to the season.
Although Pools boast one of the meanest home records in the country, they surrendered their 100 per cent start to the campaign at Victoria Park last week when they were forced to settle for a draw with Exeter City.
Pools now have another good opportunity to end their away day hoodoo when they visit a Stevenage side who have won just once at home all season with The Boro sitting 21st in the League Two table.
“It’s another opportunity for us to get our first away win of the season and that’s what we’re all trying to work towards,” Challinor told The Mail.
“We picked up a good point on Saturday but the pleasing thing for me is that we’ve been in every game we’ve played this season and even the games we’ve lost, we’ve lost by a single goal.
“We’ve been competitive, we’ve just got to be more clinical and more ruthless. We have to learn from what we’ve done so far and put things in place that will give us the best chance moving forward.”
At times like this, when teams or players are struggling for form or looking to end a drought, there may be changes to routines or even superstitions in search for that little bit of luck or a certain spark to kick-start things.
But Challinor remains content with his side’s approach to away games and admits he is happy with Pools’ week-by-week schedule and travel routines ahead of the trip to Hertfordshire.
“The games we’ve had and the travelling we’ve done recently has been quite hectic so we gave the players Monday off, then trained Tuesday and Wednesday. We have Thursday off and will then train on the way down on Friday.
“So the reality is they’ll get almost 36 hours in terms of all day Thursday and Friday morning to rest and recuperate to get themselves ready.
“Then we’ll do a small session on the way down to recap what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ll do that and continue to do that if we have a Tuesday home game and then a Friday away travel.
“It’s worked well for us having that extra rest.”