Hartlepool United summer business exceeds expectations - Raj Singh

Raj Singh.
Raj Singh.

Hartlepool United’s summer business has raised a few eyebrows - that’s the view of owner Raj Singh.

Little was expected this summer in terms of deals, with all the noises coming out of Pools suggesting a summer of thrift, cuts and shopping in the bargain basement.

Matthew Bates has been praised by owner Raj Singh.

Matthew Bates has been praised by owner Raj Singh.

It’s been anything but.

The likes of Andrew Davies, Niko Muir, Luke James and Liam Noble have proved early runaway hits for Matthew Bates, as well as players such as Peter Kioso and Mark Kitching showing some promise.

Singh thinks Bates and director of football Craig Hignett have outdone themselves in the market this summer - and have done so in budget.

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“The players we have recruited have been very good,” said Singh.

“They’ve probably exceeded most people’s expectations.

“We’ve quietly gone about our business in a professional manner and done well, so that’s a credit to the work of Matthew Bates and Craig Hignett.

“Nobody from the board has been involved - we’ve just let them get on with it and they’ve landed some cracking signings.”

All has not been as straight forward as that, though, for the former Darlington owner at the Super 6 Stadium.

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As has been well documented Singh has had to deal with the odd skeleton in the closet.

But not that’s all behind the club he can see a bright future, especially with the Pools fans onside.

“We’ve been in the club for three months now and I have to say it’s been a really productive time,” Singh said to Blue Print.

“In actual fact, I think we’ve got a lot more done than we expected in that sort of timeframe.

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“Admittedly, there have been some issues and things have come out of the woodwork during that time but we’re getting on top of those now and wiping the slate clean.

“I would like to thank the supporters for the welcome they have given me since I arrived at the club.

“It was totally understandable that the Darlington factor would get a mention when I took over but I would like to think the fans are now taking to me as much as I am to them.

“I’ve said before that when I was at Darlington I didn’t feel like I had the right people around me to help but it couldn’t be more different here.

“I would like to thank Mark Maguire and Ian Scobbie who have managed to get through enormous amounts of work already and made my job much easier.”