AS far as opening weeks go, Dave Challinor could not have had it much more testing. He’s spent more time on the motorway than the training ground.

Announced as the new Hartlepool United boss on November 5, he was confirmed and unveiled on Monday.

Pools were at Yeovil on Tuesday, for the second time in four days after last weekend’s game was postponed late, then they headed back home, trained, got back on the bus yesterday for Ebbsfleet.

While training has been short and sharp, the time spent with his new players has at least given the manager a chance to get to know his players, to weigh up what makes them tick.

“Look at mileage this week… it’s what it is and it challenges us,’’ he said.

“We said to the players that it is a tough week. Travelling down on the day to Yeovil, coming back after win and then travel to Ebbsfleet. Put the excuses away and let’s get on with it and aim to win both games.

“If they do the job right then we have told them Monday is a day off.’’

He added: “The travelling helps in terms of getting to know the lads with their personalities – in terms of who are the quiet ones, who knocks around with who, who are the jokers.

“You get to know about their characters, but it’s harder on the training pitch as we spend more and more time on a bus.

“But that will come, it’s about making assessments quickly in some instances and what getting positive results does it give us longer to make those assessment and more detailed judgement calls rather than not winning and having to make snap decisions, which aren’t’ always right.

“The longer we can keep performing well, winning and getting good results, it gives us more timer to look at the players, get to know them and see what it needed in terms of additions to make us a competitive team to get in the play-offs and push for promotion because I feel they is the aim for us.’’

The new manager has impressed players and staff with his outlook and focus.

His first game couldn’t have gone any better, winning 4-1 at Yeovil in the FA Cup to earn a second round tie at either Exeter or Cambridge.

While they may sit 14th in the table, a five-point gap to the top seven is there to be closed.

Challinor has reached the play-offs in the division with Fylde in the last two seasons, so understands what outlook is needed to achieve some success in a division Pools have yet to get accustomed to in their third campaign in it.

“I wouldn’t come here if I wasn’t motivated by what we can achieve here,’’ he said. “The opportunity came at Fylde when I was at Colwyn Bay as a player and manager and we got promoted to what was Conference North.

“We dropped down two divisions to go there with, I suppose, the possibility of going beyond Conference North.

“It’s the same here, the aim is to go higher.’’

He added: “I’ve seen loads of positives and there’s things we can do better. We haven’t done a lot with the players, but little bits.

“I hope for a bit more risk-reward, take the shackles off a little bit. We want to be exciting. I want to watch my team score goals and be successful.

“I like to play a certain way, pretty modern-day in how I want to play. Through the thirds, with pace in forward areas. We have to make an assessment and it’s my job to get the best out of that group in whatever way.

“There’s a way to get positive results, but reality can be different. We look at the best way, shape, system, formula to go. We work tirelessly on the training pitch to do that.

“Out of possession there’s a clarity in what we are doing. In possession there’s a bit of a mismatch in what we are doing.

“People maybe uncertain of their roles, becoming a bit safe in what they are doing. Safe can be a result of feeling a bit of pressure and not leaving yourself open.

“They will be challenged by us and hopefully we can make them better individually and as a group.’’