SELIM Benachour felt a goalless New Year's Day draw at Hartlepool United was a fair result.

Both sides had chances to start 2022 with a win, but the home side were denied by the woodwork more than once, while Davis Keillor-Dunn hit the cross bar and Jack Stobbs missed a late sitter for Latics.

Despite the frustrations up front, Benachour was pleased with the shift the players put in defensively.

"It was a strange game, we had some chances and they had also. They twice hit the crossbar and we did also by Davis," he said.

"I think the draw is fair. I see positive things today. We fight again, we keep a clean sheet again, two in a row so fair play the defence and midfield work hard.

"We take a point and we need to build on this point again.

"Stobbsy can control the ball and do better, Davis also. We need to encourage them, the goals will come I'm sure because we have quality.

"Dylan Bahamboula came on and did well and I think he made an impact and helped us up front."

Benachour made just one change to the team which started at Barrow in midweek, opting to keep youngsters Benny Couto and Harry Vaughan on the bench.

"Like I say against Barrow, it's away, it's difficult. Small pitch, bad pitch, I need to protect them," he explained.

"Wigan at home is our next game, at home, we will have more space. I need to manage them.

"I saw good stability on Wednesday so I want to keep the same players.

"I decided to play with more experienced players in these two games."

But while Benachour made only one change to the team which drew at Barrow, he made two defensive changes before the second half.

Jordan Clarke was replaced by Stobbs before the break, with Jamie Hopcutt coming on for McGahey at half-time.

"Harrison had a yellow card but he was not on his game. I said in the dressing room in the end you can't always play good and today it was him," Benachour said.

"He was not on his game so I decided to change him and also change the formation.

"Jordan was sick so that's why I changed him before the first half. He couldn't play anymore."

Benachour also feels playing three games in less than a week - while most teams in the division have not been able to complete the three festive fixtures due to covid cancellations - has taken a toll on the team generally.

"We saw a little bit of tiredness," he said. "The players are really tired so we need to recover well. Hartlepool haven't played for a long time so they were fresher than us.

"That's why I think a point is good."