Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor on the 'massively rewarding' signs from his squad as he assesses his players one month in

It’s been almost a month since Dave Challinor took charge as Hartlepool United manager and he’s continuing to weigh up and assess the squad he has at his disposal.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 11:50 am
Hartlepool United Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Boreham Wood at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 23rd November 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Boreham Wood at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 23rd November 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Five games in and Challinor is so far unbeaten in charge as Pools continued their gradual but clear upturn in form.

Despite having a large squad of players to choose from, the new United boss has remained fairly consistent with his team selections.

He named an unchanged starting line-up for each of his opening three matches before making two changes ahead of the impressive 5-1 win at Chesterfield.

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An injury to Peter Kioso forced another change over the weekend at Exeter City as Kenton Richardson came in.

And when Challinor was first approached about the job at Hartlepool almost two months ago, he already had a pretty good idea about the squad he’d be inheriting.

“Coming in as a manager you look from the outside and I knew pretty much all of the players here,” admitted the Pools boss.

“But when you go into the club and see them on a day to day basis there’s always going to be surprises in terms of what players bring and it’s been no different here.

“The surprises have been positive but not unexpected because you always think certain thing.

“Naturally you prepare yourself for the worst case scenario and go in a little more pessimistic than you should.

“I have to say it’s been really good and I’ve got loads to work with and improve on which really excites and motivates me and I’d like the players to feel the same way.”

So far Challinor hasn’t made wholesale changes to the way in which Hartlepool play as things have been kept fairly fluid with a main focus on attacking football which has yielded 15 goals so far.

But it’s the less obvious stats which have pleased the manager.

“In terms of our work rate, the lads have bought into what we want and training will continue to be at a higher intensity,” he added.

“There are visible signs with the data that things are moving forward and we’re getting a different type of performance from them which is massively rewarding.”