‘They don’t get any easier’ – Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor preparing for his 10th play-off campaign against Bromley
Hartlepool United’s season will be on the line when they host Bromley in the play-offs on Sunday (2:30pm kick-off).
The Ravens finished seventh in the National League with a win over Notts County to clinch the final play-off spot and set up a trip to Victoria Park this weekend.
Pools drew with Bromley at The Vic back in October before losing the reverse fixture 1-0 at Hayes Lane last month.
And Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor is prepared for a ‘difficult’ afternoon.
“Potentially, we know each other well,” he said. “They’ve changed their manager recently and got in the play-offs on the last day of the season by beating Notts and other results going in their favour.
"We’ve got unfinished business with them this season where we’ve had two close games with not a lot of goals but plenty of chances for us.
"We’ve come up against a goalkeeper who has done really well twice against us and they’re a really strong, resolute and organised team who don’t concede an awful lot.
"We know it’s going to be difficult but we’re looking forward to it because they’re great games to be involved in and I wouldn’t change it.
"For a lot of our players it’s their first opportunity to play in a big game like this and these are the games that over the course of your career, you’ll absolutely look back on hopefully with pride and fondness having won them.”
The upcoming play-off campaign will be the 10th of Challinor’s career in football. He made the play-offs twice as a player with Tranmere Rovers and Colwyn Bay, losing out on both occasions.
As a manager, Challinor has been promoted twice via the play-offs with Colwyn Bay and AFC Fylde. He also finished as a runner up twice with The Coasters and missed out on the final on a further three occasions.
“They’re big games, I’ve been involved in nine play-off campaigns and they don’t get any easier, they are what they are,” he added.
“They’re a cup competition which you hope the players who haven’t maybe experienced it before, thrive and cope with what is in front of them. You can’t say that for certain but I’ve got belief in our squad to put in performances to get us out of this division.”