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Matthew Bates hopeful he’s found the answer to Pools’ goalscoring problems

Luke James.
Luke James.

Matthew Bates hopes he has found the answer to Hartlepool United’s lack of a clinical edge.

Last season Pools just did not have the options or numbers in forward areas to really hurt teams at National League level.

Now Bates is of the belief he has enough firepower in his arsenal to give any fifth tier side trouble - especially with Niko Muir and Luke James in their current form.

“There is no doubt that we have lacked a ruthless edge at this football club for a few seasons,” said Bates.

“I don’t think anyone will doubt me when I say that.

“Now we have options.”

After a system change, Pools front two of Muir and James have looked a right handful for the opposition.

Bates is delighted to see the two new boys link up so well.

“They are similar in a lot of ways,” he said.

“Niko will run in behind, like Luke does, and will drop in a bit more.

“Luke got the first goal and then, watching the second, Niko has dragged the defender away for Featherstone’s goal.

“They have a great understanding. They both work hard and want what is best for the team. Both are good goalscorers, too.

“It is about getting the best out of them within the system. We feel like we have done that the last two games.”

Meanwhile, Pools fans travelling travelling to Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend by train have been informed Northern Rail will be on strike on Saturday, August 25.

The overall number of trains running will be significantly reduced, with many services stopping at 7pm.