Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor reflects on 1-0 defeat at home to Harrogate Town and the key differences between the sides

Dave Challinor was frustrated to see Hartlepool United fall to their third defeat against Harrogate Town in under three weeks.

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 6:18 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Harrogate Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday 1st January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News & Sport )
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Harrogate Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday 1st January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News & Sport )

Jon Stead’s second half goal proved to be the difference between the sides as Pools dropped to 16th in the National League table.

And after losing 4-1 to Harrogate on Boxing Day, United weren’t able make amends on New Year’s Day back on home turf.

“It was a poor game if I’m honest,” said Challinor.

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“I think it was two teams who looked a bit tired having played a lot of games over a busy part of the year.

“But as I said after Saturday, if you’re going to be involved in a poor game then you make sure it’s 0-0 and earn a point.

“The game should have been a drab, rubbish 0-0 but that’s the difference between a team who is competing in the play-offs and a team who is only aspiring to be there.

“The deciding factor was a corner where we should score, I think it was Raynesy [Michael Raynes] from a corner but then soon after the ball is in are net.

“We need to make sure we’re bang at it concentration-wise because there will inevitably be a chance and you’ve got to take it. That’s what they did, we had a few fleeting opportunities but we didn’t make anything from them.

“We’ve got to make sure that becomes us, there are going to be drab games and you need a bit of magic to win games while also shutting up shop at the back, we didn’t do either of those things today.

“We were a little bit safe, they played the same team three games in a row while we only had five players who have played in all three over the last week.

“I wanted us to be aggressive and see how we could push them physically but there was no real conviction in what we did.

“My main disappointment was that we didn’t build up enough pressure and we got sucked into making poor fouls which meant the game became stop start and we couldn’t gain any momentum.”