The key priorities for Hartlepool United's next manager

Hartlepool United’s next manager will have some big shoes to fill as Dave Challinor’s replacement.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 6:00 am

Whoever the incoming manager is, they will inherit a newly promoted side who currently sit in the top half in the League Two table.

The club aren’t experiencing a crisis or in free fall. Crowds are up, the atmosphere is great and improvements are being made behind the scenes, it’s an attractive role in many ways.

But there are still some key priorities and targets that the incoming manager will look to address…

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Hartlepool United's Matty Daly goes past Newport County's Jake Cain during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Newport County at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Friday 12th November 2021. (Credit: Michael Driver | MI News)

Stay in the EFL

The only real target for any incoming manager this season will be to get to the 50 point mark as soon as possible and ensure EFL football for the 2022-23 season.

Pools are already almost halfway there with 23 points from their opening 16 games but there is still plenty of work to do.

The club may only be three points off the top seven as it stands but a lot of their long-term plans such as re-establishing the academy hinge on remaining in the Football League.

Hartlepool United interim Manager Anthony Sweeney during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Newport County at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Friday 12th November 2021. (Credit: Michael Driver | MI News)

It’s obvious, but the club simply cannot afford to be playing National League football again.

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Address Tyler Burey situation

Millwall loanee Tyler Burey has been back with his parent club for the past two months following a grade three hamstring tear.

He remains Hartlepool’s joint top goalscorer in League Two with three to his name but isn’t likely to be fit and firing again until December.

Pools hope to have Burey back training at Maiden Castle by the end of November so the incoming manager will have to be delicate in managing the situation in order to get the 20-year-old back playing and making an impact without any further set-backs.

Even then, the winger’s loan at Pools is set to expire on January 1 meaning the new manager will have to quickly make a decision on whether to try and extend the loan until the end of the season or look elsewhere.

Maintain connection with the fans

We’ve seen this season how important a connection between the club and the fans can be and the manager is at the heart of that.

The new manager doesn’t have to fist pump the North West Corner after every home win or be a former player, they just need to keep the momentum building with the fans.

The easiest way to do that will be to win football matches, but that is no guarantee. Pools have proven they have the players capable of playing an attractive brand of football so there is no reason why a new manager should change that.

Coaching team

New managers often like to bring their own coaching teams with them but Pools already have several key positions filled.

Clint Hill recently arrived at the club as a coach having been brought in by Challinor. Head of Sports Science Jake Simpson has also previously worked under Challinor at AFC Fylde.

Their long-term future at the club is unclear in the wake of Challinor’s departure. Interim manager Antony Sweeney’s time at the club predates Challinor’s and he is expected to remain involved under new management.

Club legend Dimi Konstantopoulos is also expected to remain as goalkeeper coach but the new manager will have decisions to make on the coaching front.

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