Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor sizes up Barrow ahead of League Two visit

Dave Challinor believes Hartlepool United’s weekend opponents Barrow will be looking to bounce back from a ‘difficult’ first season back in the Football League.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 4:45 pm

The Bluebirds were promoted from the National League on points per game after the 2019-20 campaign was cut short. After 48 years away, Barrow’s Football League return was a struggle as they finished 21st in League Two last season.

Over the past 12 months, the Cumbrian outfit have gone through four managers with former Pools midfielder Mark Cooper in charge for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

And ahead of Saturday’s trip to Holker Street (3pm kick-off), Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor assessed the opposition.

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Dave Challinor. Picture by FRANK REID

“The previous season they obviously got promoted from the National League through points per game and ended up as champions but at the time were right up there and were deservedly top of the league,” he said.

“Then they had a little bit of upheaval in terms of a change in manager, squad changes, a difficult season for them last year.

"They’ll look at it and think they didn’t get recruitment right in terms of the manager they brought in and made a change but managed to get it going towards the end to stay up.”

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Barrow kept their League Two status intact with two games to spare following a 2-0 win at Forest Green Rovers back in April.

But following an opening weekend defeat at Stevenage, Cooper’s side will be keen to bounce back in front of a returning home crowd.

"I think for any team that’s going up, that has to be first aim so they’ll be better for that experience – they should be and move on,” Challinor added.

"But just as we’re going there looking to win, they’ll be thinking ‘we’re playing one of the promoted teams’.

"They’ll know what challenges that brings because they’ve been there themselves only a year and a bit back so it should be a good game.

"It’s a game we’re looking forward to. A relatively close game for us in terms of travel so we should take a good number of supporters so I’m sure the atmosphere will be fantastic."

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