Aldershot’s place in the National League is not a fair reflection on their quality - that’s the view of Hartlepool boss Matthew Bates.
And for that reason the manager is keen for his players to retain the levels of performance which have put them right in the fifth tier play-off mix.
Tomorrow’s visitors to the Super 6 Stadium Aldershot sit 19th in the division at present and have been beaten in every away game to date.
Bates knows records are there to be broken and is urging his players to treat this weekend with caution.
“Every home game is a chance to win - we are expected to win. The players expect it and I do, too,” said Bates.
“To be fair to Aldershot they have a good manager, who has done a very good job there.
“He has a new group of players and from what I have seen they are getting better every week.
“They beat Dover last weekend then they were definitely the better side against Maidstone and were very unlucky not to take something from the game.
“It will be a tough task for us.
“I am sure Aldershot will not be at the bottom of this division come the end of the season.”
Bates’ side go into this weekend just outside the play offs, having been beaten by Salford in midweek.
The former defender continued: “The stats say they have not won away from home but us losing a nine-game unbeaten spell proves that stats are always there to be broken.
“We will treat them with respect. It will be a difficult game.
“At the start of the year you never know who will be at the top and who will be at the bottom in this league.
“The turnover in players is massive at clubs and it can be hard to judge how things will go.
“It is all about how players gel, and when they click.”