Hartlepool United legend Michael Nelson sympathises with manager Dave Challinor following Blyth Spartans defeat

Hartlepool United legend Michael Nelson believes surviving in League Two this coming season would be deemed a success after a difficult pre-season.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 4:45 pm

Nelson’s Blyth Spartans side beat Pools 2-1 at Croft Park on Tuesday evening to make it three defeats in a row against National League North opposition for Dave Challinor’s side.

While Challinor has refrained from making excuses and doesn’t want people to feel sorry for him and his players due to the quick turnaround following promotion, Nelson hopes the club will get behind the manager who orchestrated their EFL return.

“It’s been a very, very quick turnaround,” Nelson said.

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Blyth Spartans manager Michael Nelson.

“I speak to Tony Sweeney quite a lot and I think the play-off final was a year to the day that they started last pre-season so they had a full year in and then 10-days, two weeks off so it is tough for them.

"They need some bodies in of quality but bodies in to take some of the load off the lads from last season and give them a rest at times.

"Hopefully he will, he’s proven he’s a great manager by getting the club back to the Football League, many have tried before him and failed to do so.

"I hope he gets the backing and brings the players in to play how he wants and I hope they do well.”

Nelson made 306 appearances for Hartlepool between 2003 and 2009 before joining Norwich City.

The defender helped Pools to a League One play-off final in 2005 as well as a League Two promotion in 2007.

The now 41-year-old has spent the last year in charge of Blyth Spartans as player-manager in the sixth tier.

And when asked if survival would be seen as a success for Pools on their League Two return, Nelson responded: “Yeah, definitely.

“You’ve got to set your stall out to be organised and consolidate and if you’re going well after a couple of months then you kick on but the last thing the club wants is to yo-yo and drop back down to the National League after working so hard to get back up.”

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