Would Hartlepool United's season be a failure if they don't get promoted via the National League play-offs? Dave Challinor has his say

Hartlepool United have enjoyed their best league campaign in 14 years with a fourth placed finish in the National League.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 4:45 pm

Dave Challinor’s side have won over half of their 42 league matches and secured a play-off place giving them a chance to make a Football League return.

For some, not securing promotion at this stage would be seen as a failure. Pools’ north east neighbours Sunderland also finished fourth in their respective division but failed to win the play-offs.

As a result, The Black Cats’ campaign has largely been described as a failure given the club’s aspirations.

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Gavin Holohan celebrates his goal. Hartlepool United FC 4-0 Weymouth FC 29-05-2021. Picture by FRANK REID

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Fortunately, Pools can still earn promotion. But if they don’t, would it tarnish what has otherwise been an impressive season for the club?

“It is dependent on each club’s expectations at the start of the season and where you think you should be,” Challinor said.

“If you don’t get promotion and end up in the play-offs then it can be perceived as a bit of a failure but you still have an opportunity. If you don’t take that opportunity and then look at it as a failure is dependent on the club.

"There’s a big chance for us, as Sunderland had, unfortunately they didn’t take it but hopefully we can.”

Pools host Bromley at Victoria Park in a one off play-off eliminator match this Sunday (2:30pm kick-off). The winners will then face Stockport County in the play-off semi-final at Edgeley Park on June 13 (12pm kick-off). The winners of the semi-final will then earn the chance to be promoted to the EFL in the play-off final at Ashton Gate on June 20 (2pm kick-off).

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