Matthew Bates will be vital figure at Hartlepool United

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Craig Harrison says the expertise and experience of Matthew Bates will be vital to him on the training ground.

The new boss had made the former Middlesbrough star first-team coach at Hartlepool United.

He’s been brilliant since day one – he has given me a real, honest, fair assessment about the players

CRAIG HARRISON

Harrison is hoping to appoint an assistant manager within the next couple of weeks, but says having Bates alongside him is “key” to the squad’s development.

“We have to be respectful with the assistant manager as the person I want is at a different club, so that’s why not much has been said yet,” said Harrison.

“I know some people might be a bit frustrated with it, but we have to be respectful of the club involved.

“Getting Batesy involved was key for me.

“He’s been brilliant since day one – he has given me a real, honest, fair assessment about the players.

“I needed to know what I had.

“You can watch games on tape, but I needed to know what I had and you don’t know about characters.

“Batesy knows them all.”

The 30-year-old has been working alongside Harrison on the training fields at Maiden Castle, along with goalkeeping coach Bernhard Hirmer, the other addition to the backroom staff.

Bates will retain his registration as a player but his primary role will now be as first-team coach and boss of the reserve side.