HARTLEPOOL United manager Dave Challinor has had his say on potential protests from Oldham Athletic fans ahead of tomorrow's meeting in the League Two. 

The club has been embroiled in crisis. The fans have voiced their discontent at the club's hierarchy for all home games this season.

Latics have twice had games interrupted by fans' demonstrations against the club's ownership - first with tennis balls hurled onto the pitch in the Carabao Cup clash with Accrington Stanley, then a second half pitch invasion in their last home game, against Barrow.

A further protest is planned for outside of Boundary Park and inside the ground ahead of Saturday's visit of Pools with the Latics manager Keith Curle appealing to fans to keep their protests lawful. 

Ahead of a game which is expected to host a hostile atmosphere, Challinor has had his say on the situation. 

Quizzed by BBC Radio Tees Sport, he said: “As much as I can stand and agree and sympathise with the discontent, I don’t think, regardless of what your thoughts are, you should be affecting what happens in a football match.

“What it is for us is something that we can’t control. At what point do authorities get involved? What you don’t want is Oldham fans protest and affect games on a Saturday. Ultimately the way to punish fans and clubs is to dock them points or is to forfeit games and things like that. No one wants to see that.

“I think protests, I’ve got absolutely no issue at all with protests. I think that protests that affect 90 minutes on a Saturday or a Tuesday go beyond the line. I’d be more than happy to back them for what they’re doing because they feel that heir football club is going in the wrong direction. I totally get that and I totally understand that.

“I would back and agree with what they’re doing if that’s the way they feel but in terms of affecting football matches, that for me becomes a little bit wrong.”

While Challinor hopes that his players will be able to cut through the noise of discontent at Oldham, who does sympathise with their ongoing troubles and is willing for a resolution between the club and supporters. 

Challinor added: "I don't know what to expect.

"There is obviously a lot of unhappiness and discontent within the football club, especially with the supporter which can impact things on the pitch. They've had some injuries which has changed their time quite a bit.

"They've played different shapes so we expect anything really. We just need to tweak things slightly but the main thing is to concentrate on us and hopefully be effective in both penalty areas. 

“I think that teams that get relegated, there’s normally underlying issues that need to be dealt with and what you have to try and do is stop momentum.

“I think probably from a club perspective, it’s probably been on a downward slope for a little bit of time. Stopping that and getting that back level and then back up is difficult at times and there’s obviously been things happened there that’s brought discontent within supporters and they are now making their feelings known publicly.

“As much as I’m sat in that environment and saying that can’t have an effect on what we do on the pitch, it’s naturally going to have an effect. I think there’s been things going on and there’s always going to be troubles around players getting paid and all those kind of things that point to potential issues within the football club and that is going to have an impact. At the moment, they are feeling that impact.

“From where they have been as a football club to where they are now, you’ve seen it happen to so many clubs and you hope from their perspective as a football club and a football club that ultimately is about the supporters, at some point that gets sorted out and they can move forward."