Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor sizes up FA Cup second round opponents Exeter City and points out the threats they pose

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor is anticipating his side’s toughest test of the season so far at Exeter City as they face Football League opposition for the first time in 2019.

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 1:52 pm
Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Ebbsfleet United and Hartlepool United at The Cufflink Stadium, Northfleet on Saturday 16th November 2019. (Credit: Leila Coker | MI News)

Pools make the daunting 350 mile journey down to St. James’ Park this weekend for the FA Cup second round tie.

Challinor’s side are the most well travelled side in the competition so far with over 1,300 miles covered following two trips to Yeovil. That figure will surpass the 2,000 mile mark by Sunday evening.

Long journeys aside, they still have an important football match to go out and win as the new United boss looks to continue his unbeaten start in charge and build on Tuesday night’s impressive 5-1 win at Chesterfield.

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League Two promotion contenders Exeter stand in their way with a place in the third round, £54,000 and a potential Premier League draw at stake.

“They’re a Football League side with Football League quality,” Challinor said when discussing The Grecians’ threats.

“They still have some characteristics of teams we’ll come up against in this league and they’ll work exceptionally hard.

“They’ve got players who have played at this level, Ryan Bowman is an example and he’s played in this part of the world before and has moved on.

“Shape wise, they play with wing-backs who are very attacking as wide players so they are pretty expansive with how they play.

“I think we’ll cause them problems as well and they’ll have to look at what we’ve done in recent weeks and be aware of our threats.

“We know they’re a good side and we know it’s going to be tough but we’re looking forward to it and going down there and showing what we can do by picking up a positive result.“They’ve been unfortunate not to get promoted into League One.

“They’re challenging once again this year so it’ll obviously be a really tough game but we know we’ll have to do our jobs and be good defensively.

“e’re the underdogs so it’s a bit of a free hit for us but we’re desperate to win and really looking forward to the challenge.”