Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor discusses National League managerial sackings at Notts County, Bromley and Stockport

National League clubs have been ruthless on the managerial front in recent months with three of Hartlepool United’s play-off rivals opting for change.
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Saturday’s opponents Stockport County parted company with Jim Gannon after five years in charge back in January 2021 and replaced him with Simon Rusk despite the club sitting comfortably in the play-off places.

And last week, Notts County and Bromley sacked managers Neal Ardley and Neil Smith respectively with both clubs sitting inside the top seven at the time of their dismissal.

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Notts appointed Ian Burchnall to be Ardley's successor while Bromley selected former Newcastle United goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman as their new manager on Monday.

Neal Ardley (top left), Neil Smith (right) and Jim Gannon (bottom left) have all lost their jobs in recent months (photos: Getty)Neal Ardley (top left), Neil Smith (right) and Jim Gannon (bottom left) have all lost their jobs in recent months (photos: Getty)
Neal Ardley (top left), Neil Smith (right) and Jim Gannon (bottom left) have all lost their jobs in recent months (photos: Getty)
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Reflecting on the managerial changes at the top end of the table, Pools boss Dave Challinor told The Mail: “They are ridiculous decisions from the outside looking in.

"Manager’s decisions should be judged on a full season. Jim left Stockport and whether clubs are looking to go in a different direction internally, you can’t really comment on that.

"From the outside, the two Neil’s leaving last week from clubs in the play-off positions seems strange.

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"But you’re not privy to what is going on behind the scenes, the targets set, the investment that has been made and where they want the club to go.

"There are a lot of anomalies that you can’t comment on but from Notts County’s position, they’ve got [six] games in hand on us after taking the Dover game away.

“We’re 11 points ahead of Notts County but they have six games in hand. While they may not win all of those games, if they do then they’re seven points clear of us which would be a very good position to be in.”

Having been sacked following a successful eight year spell in charge at his former club AFC Fylde, Challinor admitted the recent managerial dismissals don’t come as a surprise to him.

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"It is strange but nothing surprises you in football and I’ve been on the end of it myself,” he added.

"It is what it is and what I will say is that if Neil, Neal and Jim decide to go somewhere else then they’ll have further success down the line because they’re all very good managers.”

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