Matthew Bates discusses his relationship with Hartlepool United owner Raj Singh and Craig Hignett amid transfer rumours

All the latest news from Hartlepool United
All the latest news from Hartlepool United

Matthew Bates has described owner Raj Singh as a “football man” who understands the needs of his Hartlepool United team.

The former defender is on the lookout for a striker to add to his National League arsenal and Singh has publicly declared his backing for his manager.

This is music to Bates’ ears. The 31-year-old manager believes himself, his owner and chairman, as well as director of football, are all singing off the same hymn sheet, which can only be positive.

“The chairman said some nice things in the programme, but that comes from results and what we have done in the 17 games,” said Bates of Singh’s programme notes in the run up to the weekend loss to Sutton United.

“He wouldn’t be backing me if we weren’t going well so far! But everyone at the club, Jeff Stelling, the owner, the directors, fans, we all want the same thing. We are in a good place and we lost this one and sometimes you look at performances and there’s reasons why we lost – there’s a reason today.

“The chairman understands the game. He’s a football man and we all speak - chairman, Craig, me – and it’s not rocket science to know we are looking for more players and we want a striker in. We talk all the time.”

Assessing his team’s performance, Bates said: “We tried to get on the front foot – I don’t think there was much wrong with this, but the back three or five will admit they weren’t at it. It doesn’t go right all the time, but on a positive we could have scored more.

“First-half I understand the discontent of the fans, but in those conditions we thought it would be tough at times against a team like that.”