Ex-Newcastle United star can help keep Hartlepool United in Football League

Magpies boss Kevin Nolan.
Magpies boss Kevin Nolan.

Matthew Bates is not friends with Kevin Nolan – but the Notts County boss might be about to receive a good luck message from an unfamiliar number.

Hartlepool United’s interim manager must lead his team to victory against Doncaster Rovers tomorrow – but has also to rely on Newport failing to beat Notts in the battle of the Countys at Rodney Parade.

Kevin is a good young manager, he’ll want to go there and win


Nolan has lifted his side from 21st to 16th in an incredible six-week turnaround and head to South Wales with little to play for, though a win could move them up to 15th.

Bates believes Notts will not be ‘on holiday’ tomorrow evening.

“I don’t know him personally, but I’ve played against him,” said the ex-Boro defender.

“I’m going to try to get his number, give him a text! See if they can do us a favour!”

“Kevin is a good young manager, he’ll want to go there and win.

“He won’t want to play a weakened side –he won’t be disrespectful.

“He’ll want to win for his own CV, Notts County are on a good run and will want to finish as high as they possibly can.

“They have good, experienced players – Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi – they are footballers who want to win games.

“They won’t be going there on holiday.

“It’s a tough place to go, Newport. we’ve been there, it’s a difficult pitch to play on, but I think they will be going there as professionally as they can to get a result.”

Newport will start the match as favourites – under Mike Flynn they have performed a Ronnie Moore-like Great Escape, winning their last three home games 1-0.