Matthew Bates reveals whether his two new Hartlepool signings will be involved against Barnet

Tyrone O'Neill could be involved for Hartlepool today
Tyrone O'Neill could be involved for Hartlepool today

Matthew Bates expects loanees James Butler and Tyrone O'Neill to both be involved in some capacity against Barnet.

The pair joined Pools on loan from Stoke City and Middlesbrough respectively, with O'Neill making his debut in the FA Cup tie at Gillingham last weekend.

Butler, who starred for Kidgsrove Athletic against Pools earlier this season, was cup tied for the fixture but could be in line for an appearance of some sort against Barnet.

Indeed, Bates revealed that he expected the young defender to form part of his match day squad as the Bees come to town.

"We have been pleased with them," said the Pools boss when quizzed on his pair of new recruits.

"Tyrone impressed off the bench and has had a good week. He offers something different.

"James was cup-tied last week but comes into contention this weekend.

"We are looking at that and I am sure he will be part of the matchday squad."

Butler's loan deal from Stoke is initially for a two-month spell, affording Bates the chance to properly cast his eye over the young defender.

And the former centre back says the signing was made with the long-term mind - and that the ball is now in Butler's court as he bids to earn a longer stay.

"We want to have a look at him," Bates added.

"He is a young lad and we will give him a few weeks. It is all down to him to earn something longer term.

"James is still young and will have to bide his time. He was signed with view to the longer term."