Hartlepool boss hails trio for stepping up to the mark in Andrew Davies’ absence

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates believes Hartlepool United can cope without their injured captain Andrew Davies, despite the defender’s strong start to the season.

Davies, 33, only joined Pools in June, but quickly became an important figure in the heart of defence after starting the side’s first three league fixtures.

Yet, Davies hasn’t featured since he was forced off with an ankle injury during the 1-0 defeat by Ebbsfleet.

Bates hasn’t put a time frame on the injury, and admitted he is slightly concerned by his skipper’s absence. Even so, the Pools boss is confident other players can step up to the plate.

“Andrew was great for the first period before he got injured so to have your captain out you’re always going to have a tinge of worry in there,” said Bates following Monday’s victory over Chesterfield. “But we believe in the squad, we believe in all the bench that were there today.”

Davies’ injury has caused a reshuffle in Pools’ backline and an opportunity for another new signing, Myles Anderson, to impress.

Bates knows the difficulties of a 46-game season, hence the reason for making 10 new signings this summer.

The new arrivals will no doubt create competition for places at the Super 6 Stadium, while also providing capable backup when injuries inevitably occur.

It is also likely that players will have to be versatile and willing to play different positions throughout the campaign.

And Bates, a former centre-back himself, has been particularly impressed with how his defenders have adapted in recent weeks.

“It’s a long, long season, with Andrew coming out, Mags (Carl Magnay) stepping into the middle, Peter (Kioso) changing sides and Miles coming in they’ve been magnificent.

“That’s what we need, that’s why we recruited these players.”

Pools kept their first clean sheet of the season against Chesterfield, helping them record their third successive victory.