Liam Noble team bus spat was 'handbags' as Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates hails goalscoring midfielder after recall

Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates.
Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates.

Hartlepool United manager Matthew Bates has described last weekend's team bus spat involving Liam Noble as "handbags".

Noble was dropped by Bates for the 2-1 loss to Dover Athletic after the pre-match incident but came back into the side off the bench against Fylde to net from the penalty spot last night.

And Bates says the player and himself have settled their differences.

"With Liam, it is no secret what went on at the weekend," said Bates.

"I decided to bring him back and we settled our differences if you like. We move on. It’s done, it happens at clubs everywhere.

"It’s no distraction – handbags in the scheme of things. Not ideal, we understand that, but we spoke about it – he’s an important player for us and will be for the season.

"He came on and tried to galvanise everyone, tried to make things tick and a huge part in getting a goal."

Pools lost their sixth National League game on the trot last night and Bates accepts things are not going the way he, or his coaches planned.

But that does not mean he has lost faith in his players.

Instead, he believes his side are just lacking a 'rub of the green'.

"It’s a familiar story, it really is. Taking this and Dover as two games, we were miles better than Dover and deserved something. Luck was against us," said Bates.

"Conor (Newton) had a deflected shot on the bar, they go two up with a deflected shot. The lads gave me their all – everything, running, workrate. I demand that from them."