Dave Challinor backs Aidan Keena to deliver following goal scoring home debut for Hartlepool United as he eyes another striker with Dundee's Danny Johnson linked

Dave Challinor was pleased to see his new striker Aidan Keena get off the mark for Hartlepool United on his Victoria Park debut.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 2:33 pm

The 20-year-old tapped-in Mark Shelton’s cross on the line to put Pools 1-0 ahead against Stockport County over the weekend as Shelton then turned scorer himself as the home side ran out 2-0 winners.

While Challinor was pleased with Keena’s contributions, he did question his celebration choice.

“Aidan was great but he ran the wrong way when he scored didn’t he?” Challinor smiled.

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Hartlepool United's Aidan Keena celebrates after scoring their first goal during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Stockport County at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 25th January 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“He should have ran the other way to the other corner where all the nutters are!

“What Aidan will do is score goals because of the positions he puts himself in. He’ll score 10 what you could describe as ‘rubbish’ goals that get tapped in from two yards because that’s what he does.

“A cameo of him that we saw during the game was when Gav [Holohan] had a shot that the keeper parried and even though he was offside, Aidan was there with the second ball.

“He’ll score open goals and that’s great for us. He’s not quite as suited to the lone striker role and he’d love to have a partner up alongside him but for him to develop as a footballer he’ll learn from it.”

In terms of a partner, Challinor is thought to be looking to bring in a forward this month with The Courier in Scotland linking Pools with Dundee striker Danny Johnson.

The former Hartlepool youth team forward scored over 50 goals for Gateshead in the National League before moving north of the border.

But with a powerful target man top of Pools’ shopping list, Johnson doesn’t really fit that mould as he’s quite similar to Keena in terms of being a slight, poacher.

But Challinor feels United’s current striker has the attitude to be a success at The Vic.

“Aidan works his socks off, you’ve got to get him off the training pitch because he wants to do finishing all of the time which is a really good sign for a young player,” he said.

“It’ll give him the best chance of getting to the level he should be playing at.”