'˜One last push' - Matthew Bates wants to sign off Pools' season with win
Hartlepool United caretaker Matthew Bates is hoping to sign off this season with victory at Tranmere.
This weekend could be Bates’ last at Pools, with the club looking to appoint a new manager by the start of next week.
The former defender is, of course, in the running for the post after helping the club avoid the drop in their hour of need.
But he faces competition from three other candidates, one of whom is understood to be Blyth Spartans boss Alun Armstrong, a former team-mate of Craig Hignett’s at Middlesbrough.
Whatever happens, though, Bates is desperate for his players to sign off a shocker of a campaign in style at Prenton Park tomorrow.
“It’s our last game and it’s a tough test,” said Bates.
“Tranmere were beaten on Tuesday by Solihull Moors, but they rested a lot of players.
“That makes analysis difficult as we don’t know what sort of team they will put out on Saturday.
“I have a feeling it will be back to a strong side for the play-offs.”
While Micky Mellon’s promotion-chasers are likely to pose Pools all kind of problems this weekend, Bates is focusing purely on what his side can do on Merseyside.
“They are a good team, but it’s about us and how we perform and impose ourselves on them,” he said.
“It will be tough, but I’ve said before ‘let’s go and enjoy the last game’. I’m sure the fans will with the fancy dress they have lined up. So let’s have one last push, one last performance.
“Their top scorers have 20-odd apiece. We aren’t near that. They say you are only as good as your strikers and that’s true – with no disrespect to our lads.”