Dave Challinor's clean sheet concern at Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United have failed to keep a clean sheet in all four pre-season friendlies so far.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:45 pm

They conceded early on in the friendly matches at Runcorn Linnets, Spennymoor Town and Blyth Spartans, and despite taking the lead early against Gateshead, they went on to lose that match 4-1 at the International Stadium.

It has hardly been encouraging at the other end either as since the 9-1 win against eighth tier Runcorn, Pools have scored just twice against their National League North opponents – via trialist Dan Bramall at Gateshead and an own goal at Blyth.

“If you don’t score and you’re conceding goals at the other end, it’s not a good recipe for winning football matches,” Challinor told The Mail.

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Gary Liddle warming up ahead of Blyth Spartans 2-1 HUFC pre-season friendly. 27-07-2021. Picture by Bernadette Malcolmson

“The goals we’ve conceded have been poor, Saturday at Gateshead in particular was really poor and we need to be better.

“Things move on quickly and in large portions of those games Lidds [Gary Liddle] has been in there. People would say last year he was a big part of the record we had with him in the team where we hardly lost a game.

"That’s soon forgotten about because that’s not been the case in these friendly games so you move on and look to get better.

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"We need to work on things and we’ve lost the opportunity to play as units and partners because we’re still looking to bring in a goalkeeper, another defender and get forward players in.

"We need to strengthen throughout but they need to be the right ones and potentially for us, they may well be loans which puts us in the hands of other clubs unfortunately.”

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