DAVE CHALLINOR is out to make up for lost ground. Hartlepool United go to Sutton today – National League officials strangely giving the programme the go-ahead at a time when games are called off across the country.

Losing at home to Ebbsfleet last weekend, a game Pools were expected to win, was a blow and equally the midweek victories for Notts County and Barnet weren’t in Pools’ favour.

With eight games to go, Pools have a target to reach set by the manager, who won’t allow last weekend’s controversies to linger.

“It was disappointing last week, there’s always going to be swings in results and Tuesday night’s results didn’t go great for us,’’ he reflected.

“We are now looking at Saturday and thinking is third place catchable? Results and ups and downs happen and we can’t get carried away with looking and checking it out all the time.

“It’s important we set a target, a points target to achieve come the last game. You can become giddy and get carried away and then get down. We move on.

“In terms of the game last weekend, if I was told before the game we would have 60 per cent possession and 22 shots and all the positive things – it was one of them games.

“When the game is going on you get caught up a bit, we had lots of opportunities to score and it shows the importance of first goal at home.’’

He added: “It’s about being level headed. Football is very emotional in how games go and we are all desperate to win. You get unique circumstances; Saturday was that and a big opportunity for us.

“We look at the game and moments and what we did well and what we do better and how teams come and play against us.

“Maybe we have earned a bit more respect at home than we did and we need to be better at what we do and be more adaptable. We now have to follow up one away win with another and this is different in terms of personnel, pitch, system and things.

National League officials have amazingly decreed that games can go ahead this weekend, while other leagues and events across the UK and Europe are called off. .

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, before the crisis escalated over the last 72 hours, Challinor said: “From our perspective until you are actually told of things then you can try different things. League rules are in place in what they are trying to do and we will go with those.

“In terms of the situation you have to let professionals deal with it and if we are told to do certain things then we will.

“You like to hope football won’t be that affected by it, but look at the bigger picture and the important thing is controlling the virus and it doesn’t become as serious as it has in other countries.

“I suppose there are people much higher up the pay scale who deal with things than us and they will come up with the best solutions so everyone is as safe as they can be.’’

And the Pools boss smiled when addressing the issue of contact amongst his players: “None of our lads shake hands anyway! The way it is you can think and overthink things. As much as possible, we all read the news and see what’s happening, I see more spray around the ground on Saturday than soap.

“I’ve been shopping and there wasn’t much toilet roll and hand spray and people are going nuts for it! Be sensible and washing your hands is what you should do anyway.’’

Challinor was red carded after the final whistle last weekend in defeat to Ebbsfleet. He will still be in the dug out this afternoon and he said: “I’ve heard nothing so from my perspective I’ll see what comes in. You can only appeal against what’s written and I’m adamant I’ve not done anything that is violent conduct or however it is reported as.

“We will see what the actual wording of the report it.

“I spoke to the referee and linesman and it was the linesman who said he saw something after the game.

“I’m not one who will sit there and lie. I know there’s video evidence out there and I am comfortable and we will see what comes back and react to that.’’