Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor thankful to caretaker management team of Antony Sweeney and Ian McGuckin

Dave Challinor has praised the ‘brilliant’ Antony Sweeney for the impact he’s had on Hartlepool United over the past month.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 6:00 am
Dave Challinor watching the players warming up 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)
Dave Challinor watching the players warming up 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)

Sweeney took charge as caretaker manager following Craig Hignett’s dismissal as manager and proceeded to win three of his five matches in caretaker charge prior to Challinor’s appointment.

Sweeney has since returned to his previous role as first-team coach and Challinor is delighted to have him involved.

“He’s been brilliant, he’s someone who I’m looking forward to working with and he will continue to be a huge asset for the football club,” said the United manager.

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“It could be a whole lot worse in terms of where we’re at because he’s really steadied the ship.

“It wasn’t as though it was a really rocky ship but he’s gone about his business and let the players get on with what they needed to do and made some clear points about what he wants.

“We’ll only build on his work to be fair and the players have responded to him and Gucky [Ian McGuckin] really well.

“Gucky has been brilliant too but he’s gone back to the youth team now but he’ll be a bit part of what we do moving forward because it’s important that what we have isn’t just a first team set-up, it’s the academy side of things and we want to make one club unit off the pitch.

“It will take a little bit of time from Sweens’ perspective knowing when to throw his opinion in and not being too nice.

“I’m completely open to what he’s got to say and I think it’s really important that the team we put together is a team off the pitch as well.

“It won’t be a situation where I’ve got people underneath me whose opinions I just dismiss if I think differently.

“It will be an open office that challenges each other and initiates debates and looks at why we’re doing certain things.

“That’s the only way I’ll get better and it’s the only way they’ll get better and in turn the team and the players will improve.”