Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor wary of fixture backlog from cup success

Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor says he is happy with his squad’s run in the cup competitions despite the potential for a fixture backlog.

Saturday, 14th December 2019, 7:00 am
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Woking and Hartlepool United at the Kingfield Stadium, Woking on Saturday 7th December 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Woking and Hartlepool United at the Kingfield Stadium, Woking on Saturday 7th December 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

Two of Hartlepool’s National League matches will be rearranged with their home match at Eastleigh and trip to Dover Athletic awaiting date confirmation as they will now likely be midweek fixtures.

But The Pools boss says his side should relish Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at Harrogate: “It’s another game to look forward to another Cup competition to try and do well in”.

He also assured fans that his side would give it their all to win as he added: “They’re all important games so we want to try and win them and back up the win on Tuesday.”

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Challinor spoke about how he would name a strong side for Saturday’s tie but would be looking to give opportunities to squad players.

“We will be strong, there certainly won’t be wholesale changes but we will be giving an opportunity to people to look at different things with Luke James being out certainly for that game.

“I suppose we’ve got to plan a little bit to see where we are at.”

Despite these intentions to try to win the game Challinor did admit that the Trophy wasn’t top of the club’s agenda.

“Is it as important as what the league is? No.

“The league games are more important than what Saturday is but we’ve got a new competition and we’re hoping to do well.”

He also admitted that he was wary of a possible fixture pile up and how difficult it can be having won the FA Trophy with AFC Fylde last season.

Due to FA Trophy matches taking place a Saturday, a run in the competition can create a serious backlog with up to five league fixtures having to be rearranged for a side who reaches the semi-final stage.

”It’s always hard because like I experienced with my previous club in the later stages of the Trophy with semi-finals you miss two Saturday games so we ended up playing seven games in both April and March so it’s a big ask.”