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Dave Challinor aligns Hartlepool United focus



Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor wants his side to be more clinical and ruthless in front of goal when they travel to Stevenage on Saturday.

Pools have made an impressive start to the season after winning promotion to League Two via the National League play-offs in June.

Challinor’s men currently sit just inside the play-off places on goal difference with 14 points from their opening nine games.

However, they have lost three and drawn one of their four away games, with all four of their victories coming at Victoria Park.

Having stopped the run of three consecutive away defeats by drawing 0-0 at basement boys Oldham Athletic on 18 September, they will be looking to go one better against 21-placed Boro.

Speaking to the Hartlepool Mail, Challinor said: “It’s another opportunity for us to get our first away win of the season and that’s what we’re all trying to work towards.

“We picked up a good point on Saturday [at home to Exeter City] but the pleasing thing for me is that we’ve been in every game we’ve played this season and even the games we’ve lost, we’ve lost by a single goal.

“We’ve been competitive, we’ve just got to be more clinical and more ruthless. We have to learn from what we’ve done so far and put things in place that will give us the best chance moving forward.”

Hartlepool’s busy schedule saw the players have Monday and Thursday off this week to rest, with Challinor claiming this to prove beneficial.

He said: “The games we’ve had and the travelling we’ve done recently has been quite hectic, so we gave the players Monday off, then trained Tuesday and Wednesday. We have Thursday off and will then train on the way down on Friday.

“So, the reality is they’ll get almost 36 hours in terms of all day Thursday and Friday morning to rest and recuperate to get themselves ready.

“Then we’ll do a small session on the way down to recap what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ll do that and continue to do that if we have a Tuesday home game and then a Friday away travel.

“It’s worked well for us having that extra rest.”

Stevenage lost 4-0 in their last home game against league leaders Forest Green Rovers. Their only win at the Lamex Stadium this season was on the opening day when they beat Barrow 1-0.

A win for the travelling Pools could see them climb into the automatic promotion spots, while defeat could see them drop out of the play-off places.

The verdict

Hartlepool’s draw at Oldham could give them the confidence to turn their away misfortunes around.

As Challinor says, they have been competitive in all of their games as they haven’t lost by more than a one-goal deficit.

If they are less wasteful on Saturday, they will have a good chance of beating a struggling Stevenage side.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Dave Challinor aligns Hartlepool United focus

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