Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor reveals points targets for Christmas schedule and beyond as he eyes play-off push

With games coming thick and fast and the opposition competing right at the top of the table, Hartlepool United’s Christmas schedule could prove to be season defining.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Sunday 22nd December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Sunday 22nd December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

After beating Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park on Saturday, Pools travel to face play-off hopefuls Harrogate Town on Boxing Day before hosting league leaders Barrow a few days later.

They then welcome Harrogate for the reverse fixture on New Years Day before an FA Cup third round trip to Oxford United.

The festive run is a spell that manager Dave Challinor has often done well in as a manager as he looks to do the same again with Pools.

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“We haven’t really got any specific points targets over this period but if we can average two points a game, that’s what you want,” he said.

“92 points will win you the league and I think that would comfortably be the case this year.

“It’ll probably be over 70 to get in the play-offs, possibly lower with the way the league is.

“If you can average two points a game you’ll be all right, if you win your home games and draw your away games, it’ll give you a good chance.

“In terms of putting points totals on the next four or five games, I don’t think that’s massively important because I think we all know we’ve got to have a run.

“We did it two years ago after we got beaten in the FA Cup with Fylde, we went unbeaten through January so we know if we can put that sort of run together, be it over the next four, eight games or more, we know if we can remain unbeaten and pick up wins then we’ll progress up the table.

“What we want to do is go into March, I think we’ve got eight games set for March and April and the likelihood is there could be some more rescheduled.

“We’ve got to make sure in those last eight to 10 games that we’ve got a big shot at carrying momentum into the back end of the season.

“Hopefully we can go into those final matches with some really big and important games to look forward to.”