Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor putting plans in place for next season as he assesses his squad

There may be three months of the current National League season left but Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor is already putting plans in place for the 2019-20 campaign.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 4:45 pm
HARROGATE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26TH Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Harrogate Town and Hartlepool United at Wetherby Road, Harrogate on Thursday 26th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News) Photograph may only be used for newspaper and/or magazine editorial purposes, license required for commercial use

Coming in as a new manager part way through the campaign, Challinor inherited a squad assembled by former manager Craig Hignett last summer.

The United boss has been able to bring in three loan signings and a permanent addition in the form of Aidan Keena as he looks to shape things to his mould.

And plans are already being put in place in preparation for next season with Challinor meeting club chairman Raj Singh last week for discussions.

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“It’s difficult but it’s my job to look at things now and thinking ahead to the summer regarding whether the issue is down to personnel or mentality and whether individuals can change,” said the 44-year-old.

“It’s an assessment process of what we’ve got in the dressing room and what we need to add to the dressing room.

“Whether that’s know how, experience or us being a fitter team and being able to play and press for longer periods so that we can be on the front foot, we have to look at all these things.

“It’s never going to be a flick of a switch but we’ve got to do the best we can now while learning to manage games better so that we’re travelling home with three points instead of one and being a win or two away from the play-offs instead of finding ourselves where we are.

“We keep looking and trying to improve in order to give ourselves a shot.”

As Challinor looks over his squad and scrutinises over which players he wants to stay for next season, his message is simple.

“The message for the players is just for them to keep working hard and improving,” he added.

“We’ve got more time on the training pitch now which gives us the chance to embed the principles that we’re trying to get across.

“It also allows us to make assessments and look at players to see which ones we want with us moving forward, which ones have to be better and what they need to work on.”