Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor explains wholesale changes in 2-2 draw against Barrow

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor made five changes to his side against Barrow on Saturday while also altering the formation.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 6:05 am
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barrow at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 28th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barrow at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 28th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The Pools boss has often kept changes to a minimum in the National League since taking charge with just odd tweaks here and there.

But in reaction to the 4-1 defeat at Harrogate Town on Boxing Day, Challinor dropped several previously ever present players in favour of fresh personnel.

The standard 4-3-3 formation was also swapped in favour of a more dynamic 3-5-2 set-up as United twice came from behind in the second half to draw 2-2 against the league leaders.

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“The changes needed to be made for us after Boxing Day,” Challinor admitted.

“The change in formation was down to looking at what Barrow do and how we could best get on the front foot against them.

“From my perspective and previously before I came in, there has been a desire to sit in and get on the counter attack.

“But I want to be a manager who has my team playing on the front foot while also respecting the opposition when necessary.

“There’s a demand here with the supporters to have the team on the front foot and the change in formation allowed us to do that and pick the ball up in areas high up the pitch which resulted in chances.

“It also simplifies the game in terms of what players’ responsibilities are and sometimes against different formations it’s better to do that especially when you’ve not had a lot of time to work on how we’d ideally like to play.

“In terms of personnel, when you’ve got a 48 hour turnaround between matches, you always look and think about making a few changes.

“It was made easier for us in the fact that we’d not had the performance we wanted on Boxing Day so we were looking to add some energy and some legs to give us that fresh impetus.

“I thought the players who came in did that and helped get us on the front foot and put a huge shift in that was rewarded with a good point.”