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Matthew Bates reacts to Hartlepool United's 2-2 draw with Harrogate

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates admits he was delighted with the reaction of his players after a late goal robbed them of all three points against Harrogate.

Heads were down in the Pools dressing room after the Callum Howe leveller in the 90th minute at the Super 6 Stadium - and that's exactly what Bates says he want's to see.

It was a point earned, but to the players it felt like a loss, according to Bates.

“I am disappointed with the outcome, sounds stupid to say but I went in after the game and I’ve never really seen the reaction like that – it was like we have been beaten," he said.

“That’s good as we have players who are winners, who want to win games. It was a nice surprise really.

“It was tough to take at the end, but looking back it happens. We don’t want to concede late goals, we look at it, work on it and become a team resolute and resilient.

“I’m sure we will score goals late to earn points. I won’t allow the goal to take anything away from the performance."

Despite the result there were positives aplenty to take for Bates as Niko Muir notched his first in Pools' colours and Jake Cassidy got off and running.

“In possession it’s the best I’ve seen us since I took over last season as caretaker. We had good chances first-half to score and looked a real threat," said the manager, whose side have two points from two.

“The only time we looked in trouble was in possession, we looked a little bit open. I won’t want to take anything away from us attacking-wise.

“The front three were a threat all night. Luke didn’t score, but we know what he brings, he was outstanding in terms of workrate. Niko was pure class, his hold pu play, technical side. For someone from lower leagues, going to work at 5am on a morning and them coming here to this kind of night shows what he’s about.

“Cass didn’t have a good goal return last season but we know what he brings and his performances in the first two games have been good.

“I hope the fans remember the 89 minutes if you like. We are all disappointed, manager, players, fans, staff. I hope they enjoyed what they saw. It was better for the neutrals how we played, but it’s not good for my heart.

“Saturday we hope for a positive atmosphere again, but we want to take the game to teams and impose ourselves on the opposition as we saw today. We asked for a quick start and we got it.

“Start well and I’m sure the fans will stay with us.’’