Hartlepool United caretaker boss Matthew Bates says players will have '˜no excuses' for not performing in National League clash on Sutton United's 3G pitch

Hartlepool United caretaker boss Matthew Bates says his players will have '˜no excuses' for not performing on Sutton United's artificial pitch.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14 April, 2018, 08:00
Pools players celebrate Michael Woods opener on Maidstones 3G pitch. Picture by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com.

Relegation-battling Pools visit promotion-chasing Sutton this afternoon in a crucial National League game for both sides.

But Bates insists that Pools - who have lost their last two games - cannot use the Londoners’ 3G surface as any mitigation if they fail to function at Gander Green Lane.

Bates aid: “We regroup this week and look forward to the test on a nice 3G pitch, which will suit us too.

“They play on a 3G pitch, but we have trained on one at our training ground recently and we can get used to it.

“No excuses for us there. We went to Maidstone, played well and won on a 3G pitch so we know what we can do.”

Pools took to Maidstone’s artificial surface well on Good Friday, with Michael Woods bagging both goals in a 2-1 win which stretched their then unbeaten run to five games.

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And Bates would love another real performance like that on Sutton’s synthetic surface this afternoon as they look for one final push for points to see them to safety.

Bates said: “It’s a test, but they have lost their last three and, if we apply ourselves right, we can get at them.

“They are experienced and work hard, get the ball wide and into the box – like a lot of teams in this league, but they know with their experience how to win football matches.

“We know the situation and facing a team up there challenging for promotion, but we need points on the board and it’s important we get them.”

Sutton are prepared to rip up the 3G pitch and replace it with grass at a cost of £300,000 if they win promotion from the National League - after conceding defeat in their fight to allow the surface in the Football league.

Under Football League rules, the promotion-chasing club would be refused entry to League Two next season if they kept their pitch as it was.