'Not the best result' – Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor reflects on Torquay United's 2-2 draw at Stockport County
Hartlepool United potentially face an uphill task when it comes to finishing third in the National League this season after Stockport County drew 2-2 against Torquay United last Sunday.
While the result means Pools could still technically finish second ahead of Stockport and Torquay, it also means finishing third is now out of their hands and dependent on Stockport’s results in their final two matches.
“It is what it is, you can get embroiled in things you can’t affect. We could have a situation where even if Torquay had won the game, it becomes irrelevant if we don’t go to Sutton on Sunday and win.
"You can look at results but you’ve got to take care of our own stuff.”
Finishing third or second allows clubs to bypass the initial play-off eliminator matches and host a semi-final match at their home ground.
Considering Pools boast one of the best home records in the National League, it could pose a significant advantage when it comes to making a Football League return via the play-offs.
But in order to do that, Pools, who currently sit fourth, will have to better Stockport’s points return in the final two matches.
Challinor’s side travel to league leaders Sutton United on Sunday (12:45pm kick-off) before hosting Weymouth at Victoria Park next weekend (12:30pm kick-off).
Meanwhile Stockport host a Woking side who have lost their last 10 consecutive National League games this Saturday before travelling to Yeovil Town on the final day of the season.
Despite the sides being level on 73 points, The Hatters hold a significant +14 goal difference advantage on Pools with two games remaining meaning Pools essentially have to better Stockport’s points tally or hope for a series of freak results.
“We’ll go into the weekend’s game in the knowledge of what other teams have already done with us playing on Sunday which can potentially have a bearing on the match, potentially more in Sutton’s case than ours,” Challinor added.
“We’re going to go there and look to get a positive result regardless of what the consequences are further down the line.”