Why Matthew Bates believes reality check is no bad thing for Hartlepool

Guiseley celebrate after Dayle Southwell's late winner.
Guiseley celebrate after Dayle Southwell's late winner.

Caretaker Matthew Bates is backing his Hartlepool United players to bounce back from their Easter weekend reality check.

Pools suffered a late 1-0 loss to bottom of the league Guiseley at Victoria Park on Monday.

It brought to an end an unbeaten run of five National League games, as well as a three-game win streak in the competition.

But the players have the perfect opportunity to open up a gap of 10 points to the relegation spots on home turf today, when fourth-bottom Solihull Moors come to town.

Bates is sure his players have shaken their tiredness and can get back to business this time out.

“I think we lacked five to 10% of the intensity from previous games,” he said of last weekend’s defeat.

“The players did what I asked but it just wasn’t there for us.

“Complacency was a concern for me. But chatting to the lads I know it wasn’t that. It was purely tiredness.

“We have a small squad. And so many games in such a short space of time was just a step too far.”

Bates, who could welcome back Liam Donnelly to the starting XI, provided he passes a fitness test, continued: “It was a maybe a little bit of a reality check but the performance was there, we could have got a draw.

“That wouldn’t have been what we wanted but would have kept the run going. It was just one of them things. This happens in football.

“It’s swings and roundabouts. Hopefully we will get a stroke of luck between now and the end of the season.”

Moors have lost just twice this calendar year and are one of the form teams of the division in recent weeks.

Bates knows getting back to winning ways will be no easy task against Mark Yates’ men.

“It is a big game,” said the caretaker.

“They are on a great run. They’ve only lost two games in their last 14.

“It is going to be a tough game. They remind me of ourselves. It will be a test but if we can raise the tempo from Guiseley there’s no reason we cannot beat them.”