Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor hoping for birthday present at Stevenage

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor may not celebrate his birthday much anymore – but he certainly hopes to be celebrating come 5pm on Saturday.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:45 pm

Challinor turns 46 on the day his Hartlepool side visit Stevenage looking to pick up their first away win of the new season.

It will be Pools’ first overnight trip since the National League promotion final victory over Torquay United back in June. The players have had Thursday off and will travel down via coach on Friday morning before training in the afternoon.

As far as birthday celebrations go, a Friday night in Stevenage is probably as good as it’s going to get for the Pools boss before hand.

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Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Oldham Athletic and Hartlepool United at Boundary Park, Oldham on Saturday 18th September 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But it’s nothing three points on a Saturday afternoon can’t fix.

“Winning would be a brilliant way to celebrate because when you get this old, you don’t often celebrate birthdays too much,” Challinor said.

“Unfortunately, I will be responsible for cakes on the way down but hopefully some beers on the bus on the way back with three points.”

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Stevenage haven’t won in their last seven matches in League Two and currently sit 21st in the table on nine points. Meanwhile, Pools are seventh with 14 points after their opening nine games.

“Stevenage have got a good squad and there's not a lot between any club in this league,” Challinor admitted. “We know it will be tough but we're confident based on how we've done so far – the difference between winning and losing games is really fine on most occasions.

"In terms of what to expect from them, we expect everything. Against Sutton and they were really expansive and played out from the back with lots of possession, but lost 2-0.

“They played 3-4-3 against Forest Green and conceded which is always tough but they conceded poor goals to a very good side and lost 4-0.

“They then went to Harrogate, played 4-4-2, didn't play out from the back at all and looked to get a response following a bad result. and came away with a very good point.

"They’ll be looking to bounce back and try and get three points at home. In terms of what we face on the day regarding their philosophy and shape, it could be anything based on the previous times we’ve watched them.”

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