Hartlepool United part company with manager Matthew Bates
Hartlepool United have announced that manager Matthew Bates has left his role as manager.
The club confirmed that Bates, handed the job by new owner Raj Singh in the summer, has left the club after a run which has seen Pools slide down the National League.
He had initially taken charge of the side on a caretaker basis last season and guided the side to safety before being handed the job on a permanent basis.
But now, after failing to win in their last nine games in all competitions, Bates has been dismissed by the Pools hierachy.
A club statement read: "Hartlepool United can announce that Matthew Bates has left his role as First Team Manager at The Super 6 Stadium with immediate effect.
"The Club would like to place on record its thanks to Matthew for all his hard work and, in particular, the role he played in helping steer the team clear of danger during difficult circumstances last season.
"We will be making a further statement in due course."
Defeat against AFC Fylde yesterday evening proved the final straw for Bates, who had come under increasing criticism from supporters.
Fans were disappointed with the 31-year-old's handling of the Liam Noble situation, which escalated over the weekend.
And some may point to the late FA Cup defeat against Gillingham, where Pools were leading 2-1 going into the dying minutes, with some believing a cup run may have saved Bates.
Now, though, Pools are left searching for a new man in the dugout.
For the mean time, Craig Hignett will take caretaker charge and will be assisted by Ged McNamee and Ross Turnbull.