Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor looking to help heal 'mental scars' from recent defeats on the training ground ahead of Saturday's National League encounter against Dagenham & Redbridge

After losing two of his last three matches as Hartlepool United manager, Dave Challinor has welcomed the free week spent on the training pitch ahead of Saturday’s match at home to Dagenham & Redbridge (3pm kick-off).

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 4:58 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But now he’s had time to relax and reflect on the situation, a week on the training ground is something he feels could benefit Pools ahead of a run of games that Challinor feels could dictate the season.

A winning mentality isn’t something that is easily instilled into players but the United manager knows a run of wins over the next month or two could fire the side right into play-off contention.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“This week has been an opportunity for us to work on things,” Challinor admitted.

“It’s difficult because a lot of the stuff we do is good and we are a good team who have picked up some good results in general and if we can take anything out of Saturday’s defeat it was that it’s a cup competition and it doesn’t cost us three points but that’s only a crumb of comfort.

“We knew the Dagenham game was always more important and that is even more true now because we need to react.”

After welcoming Dagenham to Victoria Park on Saturday, Pools face promotion challenging Harrogate Town twice as well as league leaders Barrow and second placed Yeovil Town over the next month.

Losing the majority of those games would likely end the side’s realistic play-off hopes though a run of wins could see the picture looking a lot more positive.

“We know that the Christmas period, January and February will probably dictate where we end up,” Challinor added.

“We’ve got a really tough run of fixtures against teams who are up at the top.

“It’s a good thing because we can have a direct impact on those and hopefully move up the table.

“We need to become a team with a winning mentality, the only way we do that is by working hard in training and try to heal those mental scars.”