Hartlepool United squad have over-achieved - Matthew Bates

Hartlepool United managerial candidate Matthew Bates believes his squad have over-achieved.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 9:00 am
Matthew Bates.

The Pools caretaker, who guided the club to National League safety in the final few weeks of the season, thinks that due to the squad size, injuries and a whole host of other mitigating circumstances that what has been achieved of late is nothing short of a miracle.

And as a result, that further underlines his credentials, as he vies for the job full time.

“The players now go away for a break, whoever the manager will be will have to start to plan for next season,” said Bates.

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“It’s been working with a very small group of players and I don’t think I could do any more. I thanked them in the dressing room for their efforts.

“They have been great for me and I’m sure whatever happens to me in the next few days I am proud of what we have achieved.

“The players have done great. I’m sick of praising them really! I said before people don’t necessarily realise what has gone on behind the scenes this season, how small the squad has been and how few options we have had.

“We have had injuries and finished eight points ahead of relegation and probably not many people will have thought that when I took over, so it’s a great achievement.

“But I always believed in them when I took over – it was about getting that belief and confidence back. Winning this one shows how far they have come.”

Meanwhile, Bates believes the season-closing 2-1 win at Prenton Park on Saturday was Pools’ best on their travels this term.

“It was our best away performance of the season.

“I think it was very good, in and out of possession. We were comfortable, solid and moved the ball around well.

“I think that was the most accomplished display over 90 minutes I have seen in recent weeks. We had a good 45 minutes against Bromley, but to outplaying Tranmere takes some doing.”