A ‘frustrated’ Matthew Bates has called on his Hartlepool United team-mates to seize their chances in games if they want success in League Two.
Pools squandered a one-goal lead against Notts County at home last Saturday to fall to a disappointing 2-1 defeat.
It’s frustrating that we are so dominant for a long time and then loseMatthew Bates
Bates has urged his comrades to take advantage of winning positions in what he predicts will be a tight league this season.
He said: “It’s frustrating that we are so dominant for a long time and then lose.
“I’ve said a lot of times that most teams in this league are very similar.
“One team can dominate a game for 45 minutes, then the other 45 minutes by the other team.
“It’s a tight league.
“It would be nice to come out and dictate possession and territorial advantage and go in at half-time with a couple of goals advantage.”
The defender and his colleagues have the ideal opportunity to bounce back this Saturday when Pools host another County, Newport.
“At Crewe [Alexandra, 3-3 draw] we opened up and it worked,” said Bates.
“Maybe it’s down to a bit of inexperience on Saturday [against Notts County] that, as a team, we didn’t keep it solid and sit tight.
“But we were happy [on Saturday] at one and being in front.
“We felt we could go on and get another goal, or see it out defensively with a clean sheet.
“At Exeter we saw the game out well, but against Notts County we did the opposite.
“We went again (in training) on Monday and the aim is to beat Newport.”
Bates was partnered with the goalscorer Toto Nsiala in defence and he sees a bright future for the summer signing.
He added: “Toto is very good – quick, strong and can head the ball.
“You saw today some great tackles and he’s still learning and young. He wants to learn.
“Since he came here you can see that, he’s not come here thinking he’s the finished article and he can be as good as he wants to be.”