Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney on former AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor's presence during 2-2 draw at Notts County

Hartlepool United’s manager hunt could be drawing to a close after former AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor was seen analysing the side during their 2-2 draw at Notts County.

Sunday, 3rd November 2019, 11:45 am
Dave Challinor watches on during Hartlepool United's 2-2 draw at Notts County.

At least in terms of an external appointment, Challinor has been the clear front runner to succeed Craig Hignett as the next permanent Pools manager.

The 44-year-old guided Fylde to an FA Trophy victory and play-off final last season before being dismissed last month following a slow start to the campaign.

But Antony Sweeney’s near perfect performance as caretaker manager thrust him into serious consideration himself. Saturday’s draw at Meadow Lane was the first time Pools had dropped points under his tenure.

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And despite Pools’ next manager sitting in the stands, Sweeney remains focused on the task in hand.

“I wasn’t focusing on that, I was just focusing on the game to be honest,” he said regarding Challinor’s attendance.

“I couldn’t say who was here but I know whoever was will have seen two really good teams and a really good game of football so plenty to be excited by.

“I will plan and prepare the team to the best of my ability until I’m told otherwise so as we stand here that’s how I’m going to do it.”

An impressive 759 travelling Poolies chanted Sweeney’s name at full-time as he went over to thank them, adding: “It was a nice moment, the fans have been good to me not only during this four game tenure as caretaker but for the best part of 14-years so I can’t thank them enough for that.”