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Matthew Bates reveals the training ground change that has improved Hartlepool’s injury record

Hartlepool United manager Matthew Bates (Credit: Steven Hadlow | Shutter Press)
Hartlepool United manager Matthew Bates (Credit: Steven Hadlow | Shutter Press)

Ryan Donaldson’s hamstring problem was just the second major blow Pools have been dealt on the injury front this season.

And manager Matthew Bates has revealed the positive report card when it comes to the treatment room could have something to do with a tweak he has made to Hartlepool’s training regime.

“There is nothing massive we have done really but we do make sure we train for a maximum of an hour and 10 minutes,” said Bates, who is likely to be without winger-turned-full back Donaldson for at least a fortnight.

“We train at the intensity we play the game as well.

“I have been with managers who keep the players out there for an hour and a half or an hour and 45. And I think that’s too long - there is no point to it.

“I am no scientist but that could be making a difference. I don’t know.”

One thing that is not in doubt is what Bates thinks of support staff he has at Pools.

The manager continued: “We have a good staff here behind the scenes who are helping.

“We have Craig Hubbard who has the lads in the gym - he wants them in there all the time.

“He understands that part of the game is important for injury prevention.

“We have got a good physio and we have a good relationship with the college who send over students to do massages.”

Despite all of that, luck still plays its part, according to Bates.

The former Boro defender, who is set to again be without Andrew Davies for the crunch trips to Halifax Town (Saturday) and Salford City (next Tuesday), said: “I also think it comes down to a bit of luck, as does all of football.

“I am sure we will have a period in the season where we have a little pile up but we will deal with it when it comes.”