Dave Challinor wants his Hartlepool United side to be more ruthless ahead of Exeter City clash

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor says his side need to be ruthless in front of goal if they are to maintain their impressive start to life back in the Football League.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 6:00 am

Pools have exceeded expectations this season sitting sixth in the League Two table ahead of Saturday’s visit of Exeter City.

And that has been owing to Pools remarkable form at Victoria Park winning four out of four league fixtures on home soil.

But Challinor knows his side must start to become more effective on their travels to relieve some of the pressure at Victoria Park over the coming months.

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Pools earned their first point on the road with a goalless draw at Boundary Park last weekend but there were still frustrations with the game being perceived as a missed opportunity as Challinor’s side missed a number of chances to capitalise on an Oldham Athletic side rooted to the foot of the table plagued by issues off the field.

Speaking to The Mail, Challinor said: “You get fewer opportunities so when they come, you have to take them.

"Goals change games and on Saturday you look at Shelts’ chance which hits the post, Mols [Luke Molyneux] breaks away and falls over the ball and we don’t get a shot away.

“You have to be ruthless and take those opportunities in order to make teams change. We’ve not done that well enough but we’ll continue to work at it. It will be tough but there are still loads of positives to take from how we’ve started the season.”

While the away form continues to be an issue, Challinor’s side remain more than a match for their League Two rivals at Victoria Park but the Pools boss has dismissed any notion his side are a surprise package admitting teams should be familiar with the way they play despite being in the National League for the past four seasons.

“I don’t think we’re an unknown quantity because there are questions to answer with every team and we’ve not changed a massive amount off where we were last season.

“It’s not as if we’ve come up into this division with a completely different squad and approach to how we play.

"We are where we were last season but there’s definitely a step up in quality in both penalty areas.”

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