Hartlepool United have been practising their spotkicks for the National League play-offs.
Pools travel to Stockport County this weekend as they prepare to battle it out for a place in the National League play-off final where they’ll face either Torquay United or Notts County.
Extra time and penalties could be required if the game ends in adraw between the two sides. However, the Pools boss Dave Challinor says they’ve prepared for that potential outcome since before the Bromley game.
“You can’t practice for extra-time, you’ve just got to be as fit as you can but we practised penalties last week” says Challinor.
“Players are different, from my perspective, I want to see them all take a penalty so I’ve got some idea of whether they’re any good at them or not.
“Some of them don’t want to practice and as much as you want to try and replicate the situation, it’s completely different in a game.
“I’d fancy myself going up and scoring a few penalties in training but stick me in front of a stadium with however many thousand people in there and I’ve got to walk up from the halfway line it’s a completely different scenario and it’s a mental test as much as it is a technical one.
“I have confidence in what we’ve got and whether it takes 90-minutes or longer than that and it goes to penalties then I’ve got real belief that we can go and win the game.”
If the game were to run over into extra time and penalties, then that would mean the game is still be playing during England’s opening Euro 2020 group match against Croatia, which kicks off at 2pm.
“If it goes to extra-time and we win I’m not bothered, it can take as long as it wants” Challinor admitted.
“The England game definitely plays second fiddle from our perspective as I’m sure it will for all the Hartlepool fans as well.”