Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor to be cautious with Gavan Holohan plus updates on Gary Liddle and Zaine Francis-Angol ahead of Harrogate Town clash at Victoria Park

Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor says his side are in good shape heading into Saturday’s fixture with Harrogate Town.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 12:36 pm

Pools have had to deal with a number of injury concerns in recent weeks but were able to welcome back midfielder Gavan Holohan in the win over Bradford City on Tuesday and hand a first start to forward Mark Cullen who responded by scoring twice at Valley Parade.

And Challinor now has food for thought ahead of a tough test with Harrogate at Victoria Park but knows he has to remain cautious given Pools’ heavy schedule.

“We’re in a decent shape and we’re getting more and more healthy as the games go by,” he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Dave Challinor pleased with the shape of his squad ahead of Harrogate Town clash (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“There’s no one definitely out, there’s maybe a couple of decisions we’ll have to make but nothing massively significant.

“We’ve missed goals and Gav certainly provides a goal threat. To have him back is great,” he added.

“We have to be careful with his load because what we don’t want to do is think we’ve got him back fully for him to break down.

“If you’d asked me before the [Bradford] game I'd have expected both him and Culls to have been around 60 minutes.

“They were both real positives and there’s been no reaction which is great. I’m pretty positive they'll both start, then we’ll have to see where we get to.”

Challinor also made comment to defenders Gary Liddle, who has not featured since September’s stalemate at Oldham Athletic with a tendonitis issue, and Zaine Francis-Angol, who went off with a niggle in last weekend’s loss at Salford City.

“I wouldn't see why not,” said Challinor when asked if Liddle could return.

“Tuesday has allowed us to be a bit more cautious. Whether Lidds is involved or whether we can afford to give him a bit more time, but he wants to get back in.

“I hope he doesn't get back in because we keep playing well and keep winning but he’s a real positive addition to have back in the squad.

“Zaine joined in training yesterday and pulled out towards the end feeling something so we’ll make a decision on him. Similarly with Lidds, we have no qualms in having to play him if we need to.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Hartlepool United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor.