Pools must show ‘Never Say Die’ spirit in relegation fight - Matthew Bates

Hartlepool caretaker manager Matthew Bates.
Hartlepool caretaker manager Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates is urging his players to channel their Never Say Die spirit in Hartlepool United’s relegation battle run-in.

Pools travel to fellow strugglers Barrow this evening looking to record just their second win since November 21.

Bates hopes Pools can take confidence from their late show at AFC Fylde and carry it into this relegation six-pointer.

“We have a never say die spirit,” said Bates of his players, who came from two goals down to rescue a draw at the Mill Farm Stadium at the weekend.

“It was a point, that is all it was and all it will ever be.

“But to us it was a step in the right direction. And I think you could see that the way we reacted at the end.

“It is hard to control yourself sometimes but that shows how together we are as a team and a coaching staff.

“It showed just how much it means to every one of us.

“Small steps or big steps, whatever they are at least they are steps forward.”

While Pools have managed just two points from 12 under Bates, the green shoots of recovery have been evident.

But the caretaker is not one to take the recent upward curve in performance as a given.

For Bates, and the Pools squad, this only just the start.

“We have to kick on now,” said Bates ahead of the trip to Holker Street.

“Every week we have a different battle.

“We need to try and turn what is a decent point into a very good looking one by getting a win tonight.”

Bates, who is set to have an unscathed squad for the away day, continued: “The result, and the way we got it, was, without doubt, a very good way to prepare for this encounter.

“It is momentum, confidence, fighting spirit.

“I can forgive everything but I cannot forgive no hard work and fight. I cannot fault that part of my team and that is exactly what we will need between now and the end of the season.”