Matthew Bates has constructed his Hartlepool United team around the concept of defensive solidity.
It’s no surprise, of course, given that Bates himself is a former Premier League defender.
Just eight goals have been conceded by Pools this season – only Wrexham, Leyton Orient and Halifax Town have let in less.
And while many expected that base to be built around club captain Andrew Davies, signed from Ross County in the summer, it has been youngster Peter Kioso who has really caught the eye in Pools’ seven-game unbeaten stretch.
Bates thinks the 20-year-old has every chance of hitting the heights in the game, provided he continues to work hard and improve.
“We knew he would play a part but we did not think he would play as many games as he has so far,” said Bates of the central defender.
“He has taken to playing here like a duck does to water. Nothing fazes him. He is one of those players who just gets on with things. He is 20 going on 29.
“Because of the mentality he has got, if he keeps doing what he is doing he will have a big future in the game.”
Kioso was signed on a free transfer from Dunstable Town, who play in the Evo-Stik League South.
The defender started his career on the books of MK Dons.