Transfer latest: Matthew Bates discusses the future of Hartlepool's Jake Cassidy

Jake Cassidy is still a part of Hartlepool United's plans, according to boss Matthew Bates.

Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 7:00 am
Pools' Jake Cassidy. Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com.

And the striker could well be back in the Pools starting XI this evening, when Bates takes his men to Shildon.

The summer arrival of fan favourite Luke James, as well as 40-goal Isthmian League frontman Niko Muir, has many punters speculating that Cassidy’s days at Pools could be numbered.

But, despite making the former Wolves man available for transfer earlier in the window, Bates admits he is happy to retain Cassidy for the 2018/19 season.

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The same goes for the other players - Ryan Donaldson, Jack Munns, Louis Laing and Conor Newton - placed on the transfer list.

“We have no phone calls about any of our players who have been made available for transfer,” said Bates.

“The players that are here will be here until we hear otherwise.

“Cass could have played against Sunderland but he had a tight hamstring. And for that reason, and the fact it is pre-season, we did not risk him.

“All being well he will be involved on Tuesday.”

On James, Bates was delighted with his half hour cameo on return against Sunderland at the weekend.

The manager hopes the striker will continue to improve under his guidance and prove to be one of the National League catches of the summer.

“You have seen what he can deliver in just 30 minutes against Sunderland,” said Bates.

“He works hard and is a goalscorer. It is our job to make sure we can get him back to his best.

“He was good at Barrow last year but we know he can be even better this year. And that is my task.”

Bates added: “Me, Craig (Hignett) and Mark Maguire spoke about the fact this signing would not just be for the team but also a boost for the fans as well.

“It was a big part of our conversations.

“Lets hope it means we sell a few more season tickets on the back of the signings.”