Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor slams Durham Challenge Cup scheduling against Sunderland as he looks to give returning winger Luke Molyneux game time

Dave Challinor was planning on handing Luke Molyneux his first start of the 2019-20 campaign in the Durham Challenge Cup against Sunderland.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 6:53 pm
Luke Molyneux of Hartlepool United warms up 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 )

The 21-year-old winger signed permanently for Pools from The Black Cats in the summer before a serious foot injury picked up during pre-season kept him out for the entire first half of the current campaign.

Molyneux has since came back into the first team picture having made a couple of substitute appearances from the bench in the defeats against Harrogate Town and Oxford United.

And while the former Sunderland man hasn’t featured in the last two matches for Pools, Challinor still plans on starting him at some point in the coming weeks.

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Next Thursday’s Durham Challenge Cup match against Sunderland looked to be the ideal opportunity for Molyneux though the date of the fixture has left the United boss with some reservations.

“It’s still the case with Luke Molyneux where we’re wanting to get him back ready to start games by the end of the month,” Challinor said.

“The Saturday, Saturday schedule gives us the chance to do that by getting some real work into the players and him in particular.

“We’ve got the Durham Challenge Cup game against Sunderland which is something I’m not overly happy about, playing on a Thursday when we’ve got a Saturday game.

“I was thinking that might be one where Luke might get a game though the fact it comes so soon before an important league game could potentially scupper that, we’ll just have to see where we’re at.”