Hartlepool United contemplating ‘a couple of changes’ for Sutton United trip

In preparation for a crucial play-off campaign next month, Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor hinted that he could make some changes in the remaining league games.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 6:00 am

Pools’ 3-1 win at Aldershot Town last weekend saw goalkeeper Brad James come into the side for his debut in place of Henrich Ravas – a decision Challinor explained was made with one eye on the play-offs.

Hartlepool’s line-up against The Shots was arguably their strongest available when it comes to outfield players.

Luke Armstrong and Rhys Oates started up front together for the first time since the 3-1 win over Chesterfield with both getting on the score sheet for their 13th goals of the campaign. Gary Liddle and Lewis Cass also returned to shore up the defensive line following the 4-2 home defeat to Maidenhead United the week prior.

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Brad James of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Maidenhead United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 8th May 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

While Challinor wants to keep things consistent when it comes to team selection, he also wants his side to be able to cope with the potential issues caused by injuries or suspensions – something they struggled with against Maidenhead.

Pools travel to league leaders Sutton United on Sunday (12:45pm kick-off) before hosting Weymouth on the final day of the season on May 29 (12:30pm kick-off).

Depending on their final league position, they will then either host a play-off eliminator match the following week or host a play-off semi-final the week after.

“All the way through there are going to be opportunities for players,” said the Hartlepool manager.

“We’ve got to put ourselves in a situation where players can come into the side in the event of adversity.

"We may pick up injuries or suspensions and players need to be able to come in and not weaken us significantly and do a job for us.

"These games are about preparing for the play-offs so it’s about making sure we’re ready for those games regardless of what players we pick.

"That will be the case on Sunday, we’re going to win the game. There may be a couple of changes or we may look at things.

"We’ve looked at things in training this week and we’ll continue to do that but regardless of what team we go with, we’re going there to win a game of football."

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