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‘I get the frustration’ - Matthew Bates discusses Hartlepool United’s form at the Super 6 Stadium

Goalkeeper coach Ross Turnbull with Bates.
Goalkeeper coach Ross Turnbull with Bates.

Hartlepool United must raise their standards at the Super 6 Stadium - that’s the view of boss Matthew Bates.

Bates’ side laboured to a 1-1 home draw with Aldershot last week, a side who’d previously not won a point on their National League travels this season.

And the manager knows his players must improve this weekend, with promotion rivals Boreham Wood in town.

“It is a good stadium, a good crowd for this level and I think people raise their game when they come here,” he said.

“We have to raise ours to match it. I think we have to play better at home than we do away because teams raise the standards when they come here.

“We need to realise that and get better here.

“Overall I do not see this as a problem as I do see this evening itself out over the season with the quality of players that we have.”

Bates says the fans have a part to play, too.

“The fans always play their part.

“I get their frustration at the end - we were all frustrated.

“It is important that we start well, give the fans something to shout about and they will carry us through the 90 minutes.”

One player who will definitely not be involved for Pools this weekend, and for the medium term, is midfielder Luke Wiliams.

The former Middlesbrough man is yet to make his second debut for the club, despite signing on the dotted line back on August 23.

Tonsillitis then a knee problem, which has required an operation, have seen him sidelined since the day he penned a deal.

And a frustrated Bates confirmed the op went well on Tuesday and hopes the player could be back in contention for Bromley (a) or a potential FA Cup first round, on November 3 and 10 respectively.

“The surgeon was happy with how it went,” said Bates.

“We hope to have him on the pitch in four weeks.”

Elsewhere it is a clean bill of health for Pools, with Carl Magnay shaking off a knock in time to likely retain his place on the left of a back three, and Niko Muir seemingly coming through this week’s return to training unscathed.

“Everyone is fine,” said Bates.

“There is no injuries. We have a full squad apart from Luke.

“It is a benefit to have a full squad together to work on things.”

This weekend sees a team who came within a whisker of promotion to the Football League visit the Vic.
Bates knows it will be a tough test, but is backing his side to get the right result, provided his team up their levels from Aldershot.

He said: “I have watched them and they will be a good test.

“They will probably still be kicking themselves they did not go up in the play-off final, having played against 10-men for so long.

“I have no doubt, with the manager they have and the players, they will go on a run and be up there this season.

“We just need to make sure we are better than we were against Aldershot. If we are, there’s no reason we will not get the result we want.”