Matthew Bates confident Hartlepool United can beat Doncaster Rovers

Pointing the way for Pools: Matthew Bates at Cheltenham. Picture by GARETH WILLIAMS/ AHPIX
Pointing the way for Pools: Matthew Bates at Cheltenham. Picture by GARETH WILLIAMS/ AHPIX

Matthew Bates has a strong "fancy" that Hartlepool United can pull off an incredible result against Doncaster Rovers this Saturday.

The defender and his interim management colleagues, Billy Paynter, Stuart Parnaby and Ian Gallagher, know their relegation-threatened team must beat title-chasing Rovers at the Norther Gas & Power Stadium to give themselves any hope of avoiding the drop into the National League.

Pools MUST win the second bottom v second top clash in the tea-time kick-off and pray Newport either draw or lose at home to Notts County at the same time.

Bates said he was happy with the effort the side produced in yesterday's 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town, who sealed theior Football League status thanks to Danny Wright's 18th-minute header.

Pools were a side re-born under Bates, Paynter, Parnaby and Gallagher and they battered the Robins, only to be thwarted time and again by ScottBrown in the home goal.

Brown made crucial saves from recalled duo Lewis Hawkins and Padraig Amond, plus teenage sub Connor Simpson and skipper Nicky Featherstone.

And when the stopper was beaten in the 66th minute by Amond, defender Liam Davis get it off the line.

Bates says he has been delighted by the backing of the players, club and fans and says he will be working this week to get Pools the result they need against Rovers.

“I’ve enjoyed it so far," he said. "It was not a great result, but my overriding emotion is pride.

"I feel more confident now after this game we can beat Doncaster.

"Obviously, we need Notts County to do us a favour but we will work all week for Doncaster.

"It's a cliche but we can only do what we can.

"If the lads can give anything like that performance and effort they gave against Cheltenham I really fancy us to get a win."

Doncaster have lost top spot to Plymouth after being beaten 3-1 at home to Exeter City, with Darren Ferguson's side having gone off the boil following winning promotion earlier this month.