'I'm never pleased' – Dave Challinor assesses Hartlepool United's start with almost a quarter of the League Two season played

Hartlepool United are already almost a quarter of the way through the League Two season.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 6:00 am

It feels like only yesterday the club was celebrating promotion back to the Football League but now the club are very much into the grind of the 2021-22 campaign.

They are 11 games into the new season and will pass the quarter stage when they travel to Salford City this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Dave Challinor’s side sit eighth in the table with five wins (all at Victoria Park), two draws and four defeats (all away from home) yielding a respectable 17 points out of 33 available.

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Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Northampton Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 9th October 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

They are level on points with a play-off place, two off automatic promotion, six off the top and crucially nine ahead of the relegation zone.

As a newly promoted side, survival is the initial priority and it’s fair to say Pools have generally surpassed initial expectations so far in spite of some obvious trouble in front of goal at times.

“It’s been a positive start but I’m never pleased,” Challinor admitted.

“I’m content with where we are and our performances have merited more points than we’ve got.

"We can’t sulk or moan with where we’re at and we’ve got to a tough run of matches so we’ve got to really focus and concentrate to make sure over the course of the season that when we’re playing well, we get the points that we merit."

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The remainder of October will see Pools travel to Salford, Bradford City and Leyton Orient as well as hosting high-flying Harrogate Town at Victoria Park.

“There are going to be games where we don’t deserve anything but if we can scrape a point or more then brilliant,” Challinor added.

“But when we’re deserving of three points and we’re not winning games, that potentially can have a detrimental effect among the players around belief and things.

"We’ve not had that yet and our performances have generally been good but we’ve got to learn the clinical and ruthless nature of the league which is a step up to where we were last season and we’ve found that out the hard way.”

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