Hartlepool United owner Raj Singh eyes more signings and opens up on relationship with Dave Challanor

Hartlepool United owner Raj Singh remains hopeful the club can bring in one or two more players before next week’s registration deadline.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:45 pm

National League clubs are not restricted by transfer windows in the same way Football League and Premier League sides are, yet there is a registration deadline on the fourth Thursday in March – which this season falls on March 25.

Pools are currently assessing their options, with Singh insisting he will back manager Dave Challanor.

When discussing his relationship with Challanor, Singh told BBC Tees Sport: “I’ve got a really good, professional relationship. As the season has progressed, I’ve been speaking to him more and more regarding strengthening the squad.

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Hartlepool United owner Raj Singh.
Hartlepool United owner Raj Singh.

“All the money we’ve spent recently has been over and above the budget but I always had that in mind because it was prudent and sensible to set a budget that we could manage without the Government help or without season ticket sales going as well so that has all helped.

“We’ve brought players in and we haven’t finished yet so hopefully before the deadline next week we’ll bring in one or two players in who will strengthen us for the final games.”

With 15 National League games remaining, Pools are second in the table, six points behind leaders Sutton who also have three games in hand.

Due to only one team going up automatically, it is likely Pools will have to win promotion via the play-offs, with the possibility they will be playing a final at Wembley in June.

Still, both Singh and Challanor haven’t given up on claiming the top spot.

“Any fan would love to go to Wembley but I’d much rather go up as champions with the bragging rights,” Singh added.

"Dave is a bit like myself, playing it calm and he knows full well that he’d love to be top of the league and winning the league but if not then you’ve got to finish as high as you can and make things easier for yourself in the play-offs.

"We need another 10 wins probably which is a tall order but until it’s mathematically impossible not to get that top spot, we’ve got to give it our best shot.

“No question it’s the most confident I’ve been. The set-up around the club, the playing staff, the coaching staff, everything feels right.

“The proof in the pudding will be getting the fans back which we can’t wait for. I’m sitting there every home game thinking it’s bouncing. It’s just unfortunate that it’s not to be.

“I’ve said it before, I don’t want to be just ticking over, it’s all or nothing for me and if we’re going to go for it we’ve got to go for it and I’m hoping that this time next year we’re in League Two pushing for promotion from League Two.”

Singh also hopes Challanor will remain the club’s manager next season.

“I hope Dave is enjoying being here as much as we enjoy having him here,” Singh added.

"You never know with football but you like to think at the end of the season we can sit down and have a chat and come to an agreement where we can extend the contract so he’s here beyond the end of next season.”

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