Matthew Bates answers questions of Pools’ lack of goals and his own critics

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates is not concerned by critics who continue to doubt himself and his players.

He believes the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, when all is said and done in the National League season.

Bates’ relative inexperience has led some to question whether he had the credentials to lead a promotion push, particularly back in the summer.

Game-by-game, though the manager and his players are proving those who cared to question what was going on at Pools.

“No matter what you do there will still be doubters out there,” said Bates, whose side look to make it eight games unbeaten in the fifth tier against Eastleigh at the Super 6 Stadium this afternoon.

“You see someone like Jose Mourinho out there - he has doubters and just look at what he has done in the game.

“All I can do is the same as I have always done - do the job to the best of my ability.

“I have always said I have faith in my ability.

“This is just the start of my career in management.”

Getting the basics right is why Pools have enjoyed some relative success this season, according to Bates.

While goals may not have flowed, scoring just 12 in 10 games, defensively just three sides – Wrexham (four), Halifax and Leyton Orient (seven) – have let in less than Pools’ eight.

The lack of goals has some people concerned. Not Bates, though.

He said: “We give them [the players] the same message every week - we want 100% effort from them, whatever the situation.

“We don’t change what we do even when we are on a good run. We are on that run because of the fundamentals that we are doing well. We need to keep doing that.

“Things can change very quickly in football and whatever we do we have to keep our feet on the ground.”

He continued: “I am not going to lie it would be nice for me to sit down in the dugout at two or three nil instead of standing up all of the time.

“But if we can carry on winning games by one goal all the time I will take it.

“We have got to remember our expectations at the start. Let’s not get carried away with it.

“We have got no God given right to be winning 3-0 or 4-0. We have got to work hard at it.

“But I am sure we will have games where we can do that.”