'No excuses' for Hartlepool United's title challenge set-back says manager Dave Challinor
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor could have made several excuses following his side's 1-0 defeat to Bromley on Monday.
Pools had made a 300-mile trip down to face a fresh Ravens side on a 3G pitch less than 48-hours after beating Chesterfield 3-1 at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Meanwhile Bromley, whose last opponents were also Chesterfield, went into the game following a free weekend.
It would have been easy for the Pools boss to point to the incredibly quick turnaround as a potential reason why his side suffered their first defeat in 17 games, but he was having none of it.
“It’s not an excuse for me at all,” Challinor insisted. “Every single one of our players were ready to play and we’ll probably get more recognition from the data.
"It’s no excuse and Bromley said that they caught us at a good time but I don’t agree with that either.
"We came into the game flying and full of confidence looking to win again. I think we’ve done enough to get something out of the game with the chances we have but we haven’t taken them and have lost a tight game as a result.
"We’ve been on the right side of some tight games this season but this is just one that has gone against us.”
Challinor made just two changes following Saturday’s win over Chesterfield, a decision he later admitted wasn’t the right one in hindsight.
"It's a hard one to judge and you can only go off what people are telling you,” he explained.
“You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If I make five, six changes then people say I should have left the team as it was.
"Every player who played on Saturday put themselves on the pedestal to play on Monday and some produced performances that weren’t good enough.
"Some changes were no brainers and I’m hoping that we’ve got no new injuries from the game because there were a few that are feeling bits and bobs which comes as a result of playing two games within such a short space of time which isn’t ideal.
"You don’t want to be knee-jerk but there will be people in the squad that will feel they deserve a chance and we’ll have to look at things.
“There’s plenty to think about, I’m angry and disappointed but I’ll reflect and we’ve got to move on and get ready for the weekend.
He added: "I get that everyone wants to play when the team is doing well but if you tell me that you’re ready to play, what that does is put pressure on you to perform as a player.
"Everyone wants to play, I get that and everyone knows their bodies better than me or anyone else in the management team.
"So if you’re ready to play, say you are but realise that it comes with responsibility and if you don’t play to the levels that you’ve set then you risk putting yourself out of the team because there are others waiting for that opportunity.
"It might be the people waiting for an opportunity haven’t done enough to stake a claim or grab that place but that’s part and parcel of football and a squad environment.”