'They've got their football club back' says Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor after Harrogate Town win continued incredible Victoria Park form

Dave Challinor believes Hartlepool United fans have got their club back after Pools maintained their remarkable home form with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Harrogate Town.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:30 pm

At 2-0 down at half time, Pools looked in danger of just their second league defeat at Victoria Park in 2021.

But a seven minute salvo from David Ferguson, Mark Cullen and Matty Daly spun the game on its head and once again sent the Pools fans home smiling.

Not since May’s shock 4-2 reverse to Maidenhead United in the National League have Challinor’s side tasted defeat at Victoria Park in league action and the Pools boss believes the fans have played just as big a role in that run of form despite only being allowed in the ground in full capacity since August.

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Dave Challinor has instilled a winning mentality at Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID

“Everybody has played a positive role,” he said.

“It’s helped not only by results but maybe by people realising that not being allowed in the ground for over 12 months makes people realise how much it meant to them and how much it plays a part in their week.

“They’ve not only got their football back in terms of being allowed back in the ground, but they’ve got their football club back and the football club back on an upward curve.

“Hopefully they do realise the importance of sticking together,” Challinor added.

“It was the closest we’ve been to the little run we’ve had coming to an end. It’ll come to an end at some point. There’s no shame in that. We hope it doesn't, but it’s in moments like that when we needed them to drop the scoreline and go and give us everything you’ve got.

“Hopefully it gives them a little bit of reinforcement that results like that can happen and it’s the right way to go about things.”

And while Challinor knows their run of form will come to an end at some point, he is aware of just how important it has been while his side have struggled on their travels.

Of Pools’ 23 points so far this season, 19 have come at Victoria Park. It is a tally which sees them firmly among the play-off contenders as we hit a third of the way through the campaign.

Challinor has instilled the club’s ‘Never Say Die’ motto firmly into both his players and the supporters at Victoria Park who continue to come in their thousands and back their team throughout the entire 90 minutes.

But it wasn't always like this at Victoria Park, and Challinor knows what he is building.

“I think people are more aware of coming [to Victoria Park] than maybe what they would have been a couple of years ago,” Challinor told The Mail.

“The way the Vic was a few years ago probably had a spot of disparity between the supporters and what they expected compared to where the team was.

“These divisions, regardless of where you’ve been previously, are tough to get out of and tough to win.

“You have to try and build optimism and get the supporters to realise where the club is at and where it wants to get to.

“We’ve got to make it an environment that our players can thrive in and opposition players will find it difficult and they do that for us.”

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