Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor believes defenders should demand more in front of goal after David Ferguson strike
Dave Challinor has challenged his defenders to share the goal scoring burden at Victoria Park insisting they should demand more from themselves in front of goal.
It comes after fullback David Fergsuon grabbed his second goal of the season during Hartlepool’s dramatic win over Harrogate Town.
Ferguson arrived timely at the back post to meet opposite fullback Reagan Ogle’s deep cross to coolly place a volley beyond Mark Oxley to give Pools a lifeline.
It was finish his teammate, and centre forward, Mark Cullen would have appreciated and doubled his tally for the campaign having netted the equaliser against Northampton Town earlier this month.
The goal also provided Pools with the platform, and the momentum, to go on and completely turn the game on its head inside seven minutes.
But goals are not usually synonymous with the former Sunderland and Blackpool man with the 27-year-old scoring just 13 in his career - his most prolific spell in fact coming at rivals Darlington where he scored five in just two appearances for the Quakers.
But having found the target twice in the space of four games for Pools, Challinor is now challenging the fullback to continue getting into the penalty to find the target more often.
“He definitely needs to do it,” said the Pools boss.
“If you’d have asked me three or four weeks ago whether Fergie should be getting between five and 10 goals a season I’d say it was unlikely.
“But he’s nearly halfway there so he’s got to continue to do that and he’s got to continue to get himself in those areas and be a threat.
“He’s done that in the last couple of games and that has swung momentum back in our favour and we’ve managed to go on and win games from that.”
While it may not be regular, when Ferguson does hit the target they tend to be memorable - his first goal for the club came from a fizzing freekick against Solihull Moors back in February before a towering header against Northampton.
And Saturday’s accomplished finish was another nod to the quality possessed by Ferguson and his Pools teammates and Challinor believes players with that level of ability should be able to ask more questions of themselves about the targets they set.
“We give licence for players to be in there,” he explained.
“And the license we give them to be able to get in the box they should be doing a little bit more, and with the quality they’ve got they should have more demands on themselves.
“I’ve said before about players in wingback areas, and I say the same with centre backs, over the course of the season you need to set yourself targets.
“If I’m a centre back and I’m going forward for every freekick and every corner and I’m not at least giving myself the opportunity to score between five and 10 a season then I’m probably doing something wrong in terms of my timing and my attacking of the ball, or my aggression and my movement, all of those kinds of things.”