DAVE Challinor is hoping his Hartlepool United side will hand him three points against Stevanage today as the perfect 46th birthday present.

Challinor will spend his big day watching from the touchline in Hertfordshire as his side go in search of their first away win in League Two this season at the Lamex Stadium.

While Pools have started the campaign strongly thanks largelt to their home form, Alex Revell's team are struggling in fourth bottom of the table having won just two games all season. 

It's a game that's finely poised for both sides and one that Challinor has meticulously done his homework on having admitted he's watched their last three games. 

“It would be a brilliant way to celebrate because when you get this old, you don’t often celebrate birthdays too much" Challinor told BBC Radio Tees Sport.

“I’m sure I’ll be responsible for cakes on the bus on the way down and hopefully a few beers on the bus on the way back."

Pools are hopeful of welcoming back a number of players back into the fold for this afternoon's game. 

David Ferguson and Gavan Holohan have missed recent games through injury and have been monitored all week in training ahead of the trip to the Lamex Stadium. 

Meanwhile, veteran defender Gary Liddle will be out of action and the Pools boss admits that it's a problem that may have to approach with caution. 

Challinor added: “I’d expect him (Ferguson) to be back available for us.
“Gav (Holohan) is doing brilliantly in terms of straight line so we’ll incorporate some lateral stuff for him and we’ll go from that.

“Lidds is one that we really need to try and leave as long as possible. If we could leave him two weeks and him miss Stevenage, Morecambe and Northampton, that would be ideal but obviously within that, we’re going to be dictated too by injuries, suspensions, performance and results.

“I’d definitely say he won’t be involved in the next two games."

A win for Pools this afternoon can lift them as high as second in the League Two table. 

They currently sit seventh in the table an occupy the final play-off spot.