Dave Challinor wants Hartlepool United to build on defensive display in FA Cup win over Exeter City when they travel to Harrogate Town in the FA Trophy first round

Dave Challinor was pleased to see his Hartlepool United side address some of their defensive troubles against Exeter City on Tuesday night, but they need to back it up.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 11:50 am
Michael Raynes in action for Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID

Pools kept their first clean sheet under their new manager when they beat the League Two outfit 1-0 after extra-time at Victoria Park to progress through to the FA Cup third round.

Now Challinor’s men look ahead to another FA competition as they travel to fellow National League side in the FA Trophy this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

And the United manager wants to see a performance more in line with what was seen at The Vic during the week opposed to last Saturday at Woking.

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“You always hope for a reaction and we got that on Tuesday,” Challinor admitted.

“I was critical after Saturday’s game of our defending and you want the players to take that in.

“Against Exeter we defended well when we had to, we did the basics well. There’s still bits we can improve on but ultimately that improvement comes with confidence and clean sheets will always bring confidence.

“Regardless of the team we play on Saturday, we’ve got to make sure one becomes two and then two becomes three, not just in terms of wins but with defensive efforts and clean sheets.

“We looked really solid and ground out a good result but looked a real threat in and out of possession. I told the players that I was impressed and it’s a big boost for us.”