Dave Challinor's message to his Hartlepool United squad as Pools boss looks to maintain standards ahead of Chesterfield and Bromley fixtures
Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor has urged his players to maintain their high standards following a resounding 7-2 win at Wealdstone.
The result kept Pools top of the National League with eight games to play, yet Sutton and Torquay could leapfrog them by winning their games in hand.
Despite praising his side’s attitude and intent, Challinor said he was seething to concede two late goals in the manner they did.
Still, Pools will look to keep the pressure on when they host 20th-place Weymouth this weekend, before games against Chesterfield and Bromley at the start of May.
“The players have set the standard and continue to do that,” said Challinor after the Wealdstone win. “There are going to be mistakes but from a coaching and management perspective, we’re always looking for perfection. 7-0 wouldn’t have been far off perfection.
“We’ll continue to work at things. For some, maybe we’re not quite the finished article and you just need that little reminder but I just hope that reminder isn’t something we’re looking to at the end of the season.
“Only time will tell how big a win this is. It’s a big win and could have been a really big statement had we kept a clean sheet but we missed that opportunity.
“At the end, it’s only three points that keeps us top of the league which is great. It potentially takes us into a difficult bank holiday weekend against Chesterfield and Bromley, two teams who are in and around it.
“We’ll go into those games in good shape hopefully and the next week will allow us to recharge and refresh people. Our physical output when we’re allowed to go Saturday to Saturday is phenomenal so if we can head into that bank holiday weekend fresh, that’s a big part of our game.”
Goal difference could also play a part in the promotion race, with Pools (+21) just one behind Torquay (+22) and seven behind Sutton (+28).
“We spoke about that at half-time, we needed to improve our goal difference and this game was the chance to do it,” Challinor added.
"We just hope those last five minutes don’t come back to haunt us and prove to be too harsh a lesson in terms of being ultra ruthless and professional at the back end of the game.”