Pools set to unveil Matthew Bates as new manager reveals striker target for next season

Matthew Bates watches striker Jake Cassidy from the sidelines.''Picture: Tom Banks
Matthew Bates watches striker Jake Cassidy from the sidelines.''Picture: Tom Banks

Hartlepool United are expected to unveil Matthew Bates as their new manager today.

And one of Bates’ first acts is to task his striker Jake Cassidy with improving his goal tally next season.

Cassidy is one of a number of players who have another year on their Victoria Park contract, along with the likes of Scott Loach and Louis Laing.

Bates admits he is a big fan of the frontman, who signed on a free transfer from Guiseley this time last summer.

But he does think Cassidy must add goals to his game - having only managed to net five goals in 35 games last season.

“Cass worked hard all season,” said Bates.

“What I can say is he has done a good job up front for the team.

“But he hasn’t got the goals he would like and we will work on it going forward.

“It is maybe the case that he needs to get in the right areas and that will help him have a better scoring season next year.”

In a season to forget Cassidy was a rare bright spark.

He may not have managed to get the goals he was brought in for, and much of his good work was done too far away from the opposition box, but his all-action, old fashioned No 9 style and work-rate won much praise.

The 25-year-old is likely to be joined by at least one other striker this summer as Bates eyes competition in the forward areas, having had limited options in his 13 games at the end of the season.

As revealed earlier this week, after a series of interviews Bates was chosen as the club’s preferred boss.

Talks have taken place over the last few days and agreements have been reached regarding the club’s playing staff and budgets ahead of next season.

Bates is expected to have former Sunderland youth chief Ged McNamee named as his assistant, and Ross Turnbull could also be kept on as goalkeeping coach. Paul Jenkins is expected to depart in a backroom shake-up, which has seen youth coach John Hewitson return.