Hartlepool United boss reveals why he dropped Nicky Featherstone and Gavan Holohan

Dave Challinor has outlined the importance of Nicky Featherstone and Gavan Holohan to Hartlepool United.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 6:00 am

The pair were both benched for the FA Trophy penalty shoot out defeat at Halifax Town on Saturday but Challinor has praised the duo who are expected to make a swift return to the starting line-up.

Pools host Stockport County at The Vic in the National League tonight (KO 6pm).

Ahead of the game, the Pools boss has explained why the pair missed the weekend cup loss – and why Featherstone is the best player at the club.

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Dave Challinor. Picture: Mark Fletcher | MI News & Sport.

Challinor said: “It was always going to be the case and without saying it publicly, you always try and bang the drum quietly that people potentially don’t know their importance until they’re not in the team and don’t appreciate the know-how experienced players give you.

"You need a mix with players who know the game and are reliable and trustworthy as players.

"Both Gav and Feaths fall into that bracket. If you ask any player in that dressing room who our best player is, everyone will say it’s Feaths.

"That might surprise some people but everyone knows what they’re going to get from him and that’s crucial, they know they can give him the ball wherever and he’ll take it and move it on.

"By his own admission, he hasn’t been at his best over the past few games and I know he feels under pressure that if he doesn’t have a really good game then who takes the slack off him a little bit.

"He’s massively important to us in there and adds a calmness in the team especially with the young players we have out there in defence.”

Meanwhile, Pools could be without a recognised right-back in Tuesday night’s National League fixture against Stockport County.

Lewis Cass went off late on during Saturday’s FA Trophy penalty shoot out defeat at Halifax Town while captain Ryan Donaldson also suffered a knock.

“Lewis doesn’t look like he’ll be available, it’s his hamstring which is a big blow and we’ll have to see how he settles but unless we have a Lazarus moment, there’s no chance he’ll be available for Tuesday,” Challinor said.

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