Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor labels Dagenham & Redbridge clash as 'a must win' to kick-off busy Christmas schedule
Dave Challinor has labelled Hartlepool United’s National League match against Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park this Saturday (3pm kick-off) as ‘a must win’ – and here’s why.
Pools go into the match sitting 14th in the table with just one win from their last six league matches.
And after the disappointment of last Saturday’s FA Trophy defeat at Harrogate Town, Challinor is demanding a response from his side against a Dagenham outfit who have lost their last four in the fifth tier.
The Daggers are one of only four teams to have beaten Pools by more than a single goal so far this season as they won the reverse fixture 3-1 at Victoria Road back in September. Peter Taylor’s side go into the match on the back of a 3-2 FA Trophy victory over Sutton United in midweek.
But that’s something Challinor will be looking to use to Pools advantage.
“It’ll be a tough game, they obviously got a good result on Tuesday where they’ve gone to a replay and extra-time,” he said.
“Then with them playing two hours in midweek then travelling a long way up here, we’ve got to take advantage of that.
“They had a really good result a few weeks back where they won 6-1 against Aldershot and then you think they are a threat but they’ve had a bad run after that in terms of their league games.”
Saturday’s match will be Challinor’s ninth in charge of Pools but only his second in the National League at The Vic as he eyes a first home league win.
“It’s a massively important game, especially being at home and addressing that home record,” added the United manager.
“Saturday, as much as I don’t want to put undue pressure on the players, it’s a must win because it’s such an important time of the season for us and we need to put a run together.
“We’ve got Harrogate and Barrow to play over the Christmas period at home and it’s these games that can define our season.
“Hopefully there will be a decent crowd and we can get a confidence building result going into another big match away on Boxing Day.”