Survival? Mid-table? Play-offs? Dave Challinor outlines Hartlepool United's targets for upcoming League Two season

Dave Challinor’s first priority at Hartlepool United this season is ensuring the club remains a Football League outfit.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 4:45 pm

Following a dramatic play-off promotion to League Two, it’s been a frantic turnaround at Pools to prepare for their League Two return.

While Challinor isn’t content with simply surviving this coming season, it is naturally his first target.

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Dave Challinor.

“You always want to push and compete at the top end of the table but as a consequence of that, staying up becomes the first thing you do,” he said.

"It goes without saying that if you target 70 points then you need to get to 10, 20, 30 points first and that’s no different this season.

“With everything that has gone on, we’ve become a Football League club and our first priority is to make sure we remain a Football League club.

"We’d love that to be secured by January but if we have to wait until later then so be it.

"That has to be the first thing we tick off because it gives us a platform to go and achieve whatever is above that."

Pools haven’t achieved a top half finish in the Football League since their promotion from League Two in 2007.

And Challinor is prepared for a closely fought campaign for the club in the fourth tier.

“The margins between staying in the League and getting into the play-offs is probably six games so over the course of the season there may not be a great difference,” he added.

“Granted there are going to be 12, 13 teams involved but six wins will probably separate them and we’ve just got to get off to a good start and build on the momentum we’ve built up not just on the pitch but off the pitch too with the supporters.

"We know that over the course of the year we’ll get stronger and if we can find a way while we’re still building and progressing that will help us build that confidence. We showed last year that winning football matches can have a huge impact on and off the pitch, fingers crossed that’s the case.”

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