Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor wanting to bridge play-off gap with win over 'workmanlike' Woking

Hartlepool United could move to within two points of the National League play-off places with a game in hand should they beat fifth placed Woking on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Friday, 6th December 2019, 12:01 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 1:34 pm
Hartlepool United's Gime Toure goes close to scoring during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Woking at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th September 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News )
Hartlepool United's Gime Toure goes close to scoring during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Woking at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th September 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News )

The Cards were the early pace setters at the start of the 2019-20 campaign as they won seven of their opening eight matches.

One of those games was against Dave Challinor as his AFC Fylde side were beaten 4-1 at home by the newly promoted outfit.

And after enjoying an unbeaten start at Hartlepool, the 44-year-old will be desperate to avoid a similar result this weekend.

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“As I’ve found out previously when I’ve played against them, they’re a really hardworking side who play to their strengths,” Challinor said.

“They’ve got Dave Tarpey who is a massive threat in terms of goals, [Jake] Hyde scored two against Fylde when I was there earlier in the season so they’ve got a threat.

“It’s tough to say they’ve had a really good start because we’re halfway through the season now but this is their first season back at this level and they’ve still kept their principles in place.

“They’re still part time but they’ve got a really strong group which they had last year so they’ve carried that momentum and winning mentality into this league which is obviously positive for them.

“They started really well before having a little bit of a drop off but the results they’ve had are keeping them in there.

“They’re a workmanlike side with quality and goals which a lot of teams in this league are like. They know what their strengths are and are a big threat from set-pieces.”

Pools claimed their first National League win under Challinor at Chesterfield in emphatic fashion as they strolled to an impressive 5-1 victory. On Saturday, they’ll be looking to pick up another win that would see them hit the 35 point mark with just over half of the season played.

“Woking in the play-off places on merit and that’s where we want to be,” Challinor added.

“Hopefully we can start to bridge that gap a little bit and if we can go there and get a win then that would go a long way to doing that.”