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Hartlepool caretaker boss Matthew Bates lands manager of month award

Hartlepool caretaker manager Matthew Bates, right, with Ged McNamee.
Hartlepool caretaker manager Matthew Bates, right, with Ged McNamee.

Hartlepool United caretaker Matthew Bates has been named as the National League manager of the month for March.

The Pools boss, appointed on a temporary basis after the sacking of Craig Harrison in March, oversaw an unbeaten five game run in the month, as Pools edged away from the fifth tier relegation zone.

And Bates admits the accolade is not only praise for the job he is doing, but also a pat on the back to his staff and the players.

He said: “It has come as a surprise.

“Every manager says the same thing but this is for everyone. In the grand scheme of things I do very little.

“The performances have picked up.

“It comes from the bottom to the top - the attitude has been first class.

“This is a reward for all the staff and players not just me.

“We will keep working hard to get out of the position we are in, then we can reflect on individual performances.”

From their six games in the month of March, Pools managed three wins, two draws and a loss.

They opened the month with a narrow 2-1 loss at promotion-chasing Aldershot, before scraping a draw with Boreham Wood despite being down to 10 men and then showing immense character to come from 3-1 behind to rescue a point at AFC Fylde.

Three victories over Barrow, Bromley and Maidstone United then closed the month out in style.

Despite a decent run, Bates knows the job of staying in the division is far from over.

And until the club is safe, the 31-year-old will not be resting on his laurels.

“It is a nice accolade which will be locked away until the end of the season - we still have a job to do,” said the former Middlesbrough defender.

“It is not something I want to think about too much.

“It is simply a reward for things you have done over the last month. That’s all it is.”

Earlier this season previous boss Craig Harrison also won the award for the month of October.