`

Matthew Bates comments on Jake Cassidy’s Hartlepool transformation

Jake Cassidy.
Jake Cassidy.

Matthew Bates is backing Jake Cassidy to put last season’s difficulties behind him and hit the goals trail for Hartlepool United this season.

Cassidy got off the mark this season with an emphatic finish against Harrogate on Tuesday night, but it was not enough to ensure all three points remained at the Super 6 Stadium.

Bates is sure Cassidy can better last season’s five-goal tally, and help fire the club up the table.

“I am just pleased for him,” said Bates of his forward.

“He doesn’t need me to tell him his return was great last season.

“I am sure he can score a lot of goals for this football club.”

The 25-year-old has been playing with two strikers - Niko Muir and Luke James - in support, which is in stark contrast to last season’s constant isolation.

Bates thinks Cassidy, whether scoring or not,has a key role in his Pools system.

“He is a player that will occupy the two centre-halves,” said the manager.

“He is not a targetman because he has got a lot more than that in his game.

“His hard work frees up room for others in and around the box.

“Last year I don’t think he was in the box enough. And that was just due to his own desire to work hard for the team.

“We have been working hard on his movement and getting further up the pitch.”