Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor admits one slight disappointment regarding the return of fans

Hartlepool United fans will make their long awaited return to Victoria Park on May 29.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 8:28 am

Pools host Weymouth for their final match of the regular National League season with a limited number of supporters allowed to attend for the first time this season.

With Pools also likely to secure a top five spot, a crucial play-off match is set to take place at The Vic too with the club announcing plans to welcome back around 1,700 supporters.

And manager Dave Challinor is looking forward to welcoming the Poolies back for the conclusion of what has been a memorable season on the pitch.

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Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor applauds the fans during the Vanarama National League match between Sutton United and Hartlepool United at the Knights Community Stadium, Gander Green Lane, Sutton on Saturday 14th March 2020. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

“It’s a great time for fans to come back,” he told The Mail.

“It’s a pity there can’t be more of them in here but it will be great to have them back and great to say thank you to them because we haven’t had the chance to do that over the course of the season.

"Primarily, we need to put in a performance and get a result to thank them in the right way and hopefully look forward to potentially bigger games further down the line in terms of a play-off game here and make sure it’s a big occasion for everyone.”

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The Pools boss also admitted there will be a sense of disappointment that only a lucky selection of fans will be allowed to attend.

“Once you get crowds back in the ground, you always end up going ‘isn’t it a shame there will only be x amount in’,” Challinor said.

"That will be the next disappointment if you like because in normal situations at the back end of the season and for play-off games, this place would be absolutely rammed to the rafters and unfortunately we’re not going to be able to have anywhere near that number in which is disappointing.

"Just to be able to get some back into the ground and there being an atmosphere, to have them back in however limited numbers, to try and back us is going to be massively important.

"It's those occasions when you're 1-0 down or a couple of goals down at home where you need your supporters to rally behind the team and get us back into the game.

"That’s where they become important for us.”

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