Dave Challinor challenges Hartlepool United players to achieve bold win target in final 12 National League matches in order to achieve play-offs

A lot of managers like to take things one game at a time, but Dave Challinor has his eyes on the bigger picture.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:45 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Aldershot Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 8th February 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Pools haven’t won back to back matches since Challinor took charge but remain within touching distance of the play-off places at Saturday’s 2-0 win over Aldershot Town saw them rise to 10th in the table and three points off the top seven.

“The higher you can get up the table, it’s going to have a positive impact on the players’ outlook and mindset,” Challinor said.

“I’ve been straight with the players in terms of where we need to be, I told them we’ve got 12 games left and we need to win eight wins out of those 12 which is a big ask, don’t get me wrong.

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“But I think they’re absolutely good enough to do that. No one is saying it’s going to be easy because it’s going to be incredibly tough.

“At the start of the season, although I wasn’t here, I know you’d have targets as to where you want to be.

“My thought process around that will be that you have to set goals for the players because ultimately, they’ll do it without us putting the onus on them.

“We’re at the point now where we’re running out of games and we need wins.

“It would be remiss of us to say we’re taking it a game at a time and seeing where it takes us, you take things a game at a time in regards to training and preparation.

“We won’t be looking beyond what Solihull will give and we’ll work towards trying to get three points.

“But looking longer term, that’s where we want to be and that will be a minimum but it gives the players something to aim for.

“That could change and what we won’t do, if we get three or four weeks down the line and the amount of points we need is still there for us then we’ll keep going.

“It’s a longer process than just this season but there’s a real focus and belief about what we can achieve.”