Hartlepool boss hopes to have key man back at Barnet

Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates
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Manager Craig Hignett hopes to have defensive lynchpin Matthew Bates back for Hartlepool United’s crucial League Two trip to Barnet on Saturday.

The centre-half was a last-minute withdrawal in the 4-1 drubbing at Bristol Rovers after suffering a back problem in the warm-up, Scott Harrison starting in his place.

So late was the change, the officials and home side didn’t seem to notice until well into the game.

To say the former Middlesbrough star was a miss was an understatement.

“In the warm-up, Matty’s back locked up on him, he couldn’t move,” said Hignett.

“We tried to free it but it wasn’t budging. He was in no fit state to play.

“We didn’t have any option but to play Scotty.

“It wasn’t ideal and a bit of a blow given Matty has been in such good form but Scotty has done well in training and deserved his chance.

“Hopefully Matty will be OK for Saturday.”