Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor left questioning his side following 3-2 FA Trophy collapse at Harrogate Town

Dave Challinor didn’t hold back in his criticism of his Hartlepool United players following their 3-2 defeat at Harrogate Town in the FA Trophy first round.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the The Buildbase FA Trophy match between Harrogate Town and Hartlepool United at Wetherby Road, Harrogate on Saturday 14th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the The Buildbase FA Trophy match between Harrogate Town and Hartlepool United at Wetherby Road, Harrogate on Saturday 14th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Pools were 2-0 up and cruising before three glaring mistakes saw them concede three times in the final 13-minutes to lose.

It’s the third time in six weeks that Pools have failed to win a match after being 2-0 ahead at half-time.

“They are nothing goals that have cost us a cup tie,” he admitted.

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“There were positives in the first half but they mean nothing. The second goal from Ryan [Donaldson] was a great counter attack and we dominated and deserved the 2-0 lead which should see us through.

“We’ve self destructed in the final 13 minutes which is completely unacceptable and makes for a horrible weekend.

“Goals change matches but 2-0 for me shouldn’t be a difficult scoreline if you manager it properly.

“Whether we can’t do it or there’s not enough leadership, or we’ve tried to coast through the second half because the players don’t trust themselves or they’re not fit enough, I don’t know.

“We’ll see what comes out from it but the bottom line of it is just wanting to win a football match and doing whatever you can to get the result.

“Regardless of the results we’ve had, you have to have a ruthless mindset of what you need as a team and as horrible as it may sound, you can’t let positive results cloud your judgement.

“We have to look, it’s not like I’ve not been trying to get bodies in. I don’t think any of our players are stupid enough to think that after what’s been happening because it’s not only not acceptable but puts them in a position where their positions are under threat.”

Challinor’s message to the players after the game didn’t give much away with emotions still running high..

He added: “I didn’t tell them a great deal, I’m at a point where I don’t want to say too much or else I’ll say something I’d regret because I’m an emotional person and I hate losing, letting people down so I’m going to do everything I can to put it right.”