Nicky Featherstone encouraged by progress at Hartlepool United under Dave Challinor despite 2-1 defeat at Barnet

Nicky Featherstone is pleased with the progress being made at Hartlepool United under Dave Challinor – even if results may suggest otherwise.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 6:00 am
Nicky Featherstone of Hartlepool United during the Vanarama National League match between Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United at Huish Park, Yeovil on Saturday 18th January 2020. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News & Sport)

Pools haven’t won back to back matches since Challinor took charge and have gone over two months without an away win following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Barnet.

But Featherstone feels the side are developing some form of consistency at least when it comes to their performance levels and game plan execution.

“We’re definitely becoming more consistent in that area,” he told The Mail.

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“Before today we’ve put four results together and on Saturday at Barnet, barring a few different circumstances, we would have got a result again.

“There are positives to take from defeats but it’s just the mistakes that are proving costly still.

“On Saturday, when [Paul] McCallum came on, we had to deal with a different threat because he’s more aerial and physical and he ended up having a big impact on the game.

“But the manager told us that we need to get up the pitch when he came on and we didn’t quite do that when we needed to.

“I still think there are a lot of positives to take from the game, even with 10 men we posed a threat on the break and barring two bad goals we should get a result.”

With 13 games remaining in the National League, United find themselves six points off the top seven. They’ve remained in touch with the play-off places for the majority of the season but just haven’t been able to fully capitalise on the opportunity as they remain in a midtable position.

“There always seems to be a little set-back whenever we get close to the play-offs,” Featherstone added.

“It’s just about finding that consistency in results, not just performances. Everyone says, it’s not the best team in the league that goes up, it’s the team that is the most consistent.

“We take encouragement because we do seem to be getting fitter and buying into what the manager wants which will only help us moving forward going into the final run of matches.”