Oxford United's performance against Manchester City in the EFL Cup has Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor worried ahead of FA Cup third round clash

Dave Challinor knows Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash against Oxford United will be Hartlepool United’s toughest test of the season so far.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 4:45 pm
Shandon Baptiste of Oxford United runs with the ball under pressure from Rodrigo and Bernardo Silva of Manchester City during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Oxford United and Manchester City at Kassam Stadium on December 18, 2019 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Shandon Baptiste of Oxford United runs with the ball under pressure from Rodrigo and Bernardo Silva of Manchester City during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Oxford United and Manchester City at Kassam Stadium on December 18, 2019 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Pools travel down to the Kassam Stadium looking to pick up their first win in three matches after a disappointing post-Christmas run of results in the National League.

Like Hartlepool, Oxford were beaten 1-0 on New Year’s Day but it was only the U’s third defeat in their last 24 matches in all competitions.

One of their other defeats came against Premier League champions Manchester City in the EFL Cup last month.

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Karl Robinson’s side were beaten 3-1 at home by Pep Guardiola’s men at the quarter-final stage.

Hartlepool manager Challinor watched the match and admits he was very impressed with what he saw from the League One side.

“I know they’ll want to progress, they’ve recently hosted Manchester City in the League Cup which didn’t do much for me in terms of looking forward to the game,” he admitted.

“They were unbelievably good against them and if our players think they’re going down for a nice day out in the FA Cup on a Saturday afternoon then they’re very highly mistaken.

“We know we’ve got to have a good day and got to have eight or nine players who have really good days while they’ll need a few that have off days. Hopefully they’ll be a bit distracted by the fact that they’re flying in their league despite being beaten on New Year’s Day.”