DAVE Challinor is out to improve the fortunes of his Hartlepool United in the short-term – to ensure the benefits over a longer period of time.

Pools are stuck in mid-table in the National League, but Challinor won’t give up the play-off ghost.

They dropped two points at the weekend as they conceded in injury time to draw 1-1 at Dover.

He last week signed Aidan Keena from Hearts, but Pools are still awaiting international clearance from the Scottish FA.

Gary Liddle is on loan from Walsall and Challinor admitted signings being made now are with one eye on next season too.

He said: “Lidds has come in and his loan ends in a couple of weeks, we need to speak to Walsall and see and we need a plan moving forward: short-term recruitment to see us through to challenge at the end of the season.

“Then we have a longer-term look. Are people available now to save some summer recruitment. If they are available and can strengthen us then we look at it.’’

Pools’ two main flair players, Luke Williams and Luke Molyneux are still not fit enough to be involved fully.

The former remains out, while the latter is part of the squad and was on the bench at the weekend.

“Luke (Willilams) is closer, how close? I wouldn’t like to say. I did say before Christmas that with the two Lukes they wouldn’t be back until the end of January,’’ said the manager. “With Molyneux being involved, we have to get to a point where he can start games. He’s had a boost by being involved as an impact player from the bench and we have to increase his workload and minutes.’’