Matthew Bates has highlighted the need to add experience to his ranks – as he eyes a complete revamp of the Hartlepool United squad this summer.
As revealed in the Mail last week, up to 10 players could be shown the door at Victoria Park.
And almost as many could arrive, with Bates, currently away on a pre-planned break, and director of football Craig Hignett already drawing up a transfer wishlist.
Whoever comes in, though, Bates says they have to have the right character, especially when it comes to the pressure of playing in front of sizeable crowds at the Vic.
“One thing I will look at is bringing fresh faces to the club, but they have to be the right type,” he said.
“They have to be experienced and leaders, who can deal with the slight added pressure of playing at home.
“It might not happen straight away but that is what we are going to work hard to try and get to this club.
“This ground needs to be a fortress. We want to try and bring players here to help us make that a reality.”
Bates accepts Pools’ home form has not been up to scratch, under his watch, and for years previous.
That’s something he says has to change.
“There have been rumblings with the performances among the fans,” he said of the home form.
“The home form has not been good enough since I came to this club, now into my fourth season.
“So I can understand that.
“I am a football fan myself so I get it.
“I would not have wanted to be in the stands watching the team much myself.”
Meanwhile, the Mail has learned that former Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison is looking for a swift return to management.
Harrison has been linked with the vacant AFC Telford role, but will wait should the right opportunity not come his way.
The former Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace defender, 40, left Pools in February and was replaced in a caretaker capacity by new permanent boss Bates, who won five of 13 in charge.