Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor sets ambitious crowd target at Victoria Park following FA Cup second round win over Exeter City

Still buzzing from Tuesday night’s FA Cup victory over Exeter City, Dave Challinor has set an ambitious crowd target for Hartlepool United.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 5:00 pm
All smiles Hartlepool United Dave Challinor after the FA Cup match between Exeter City and Hartlepool United at St James' Park, Exeter on Sunday 1st December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

A crowd of 2,398 at Victoria Park watched Pools secure their place in the third round with Josh Hawkes’ extra-time strike proving to be the difference.

It may have been the lowest attendance at The Vic so far this season but the Hartlepool manager was still impressed.

“To have that amount for an FA Cup replay on a horrible night in terms of the weather, or it might be quite nice for up here, is really impressive because there were so many things going against it!” Challinor.

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“For us to get a good backing and for the people who did turn up it’s a thank you for them.

“To have that many in here and that atmosphere at the end, we want to continue to build that.

“If we can get double that amount in here then it not only means we’re doing something right but the atmosphere it will generate for me as a manager and for them as players will be unbelievable to be involved in.

“Hopefully this is just the start of something we can build on to give the fans more nights like that.”

Pools progress to the third round also sees them awarded £54,000 prize money as they look ahead to facing Oxford United on the weekend of January 4.

“The prize money is massive and obviously in the third round it becomes even bigger with [£135,000] but it’s a really tough game against a team who are flying in League One,” Challinor added.

“We know we’ll have to be at our best and hopefully catch them on an off day but the FA Cup has a habit of producing shocks so fingers crossed we can go there and give a good account of ourselves.

“We’ll be looking to carry on the momentum into the league over Christmas and the New Year.

“If we can do that, December and January could be pivotal for us because we’ve got a really tough run of fixtures but ones that give us the chance to propel us up the table.”