Hartlepool United BIG fan survey results: YOUR verdict on Matthew Bates, Richard Money and expectations for next season
The results of our big Hartlepool United fan survey are in - and there are some shock results.
This year we asked you, the fans, for you opinions on a wide range of topics including the future under Craig Hignett, transfer needs and the National League season that was in 2018/19.
Over the next three days we will present your views on the big issues at the Super 6 Stadium, starting with the errors of last season.
What were the main reasons behind Hartlepool United's disappointing second season?
Pools under-performed in the National League last season, finishing 17th - two places below their 15th placed finish in 2017/18.
With no real financial failings to point the finger at, as was the case before Raj Singh came to the helm, focus turned to footballing shortcomings.
Of those polled 60.1% of voters believe managerial changes had the biggest impact on last season's failings. A further 24% think poor recruitment was the main issue. Injuries and a lack of spending also get a mention.
Was the decision to hand Matthew Bates the job the right call by Raj Singh and Craig Hignett?
This time last year confusion reigned supreme at Pools. While off-field issues had been ironed out, the manager's job had not.
Hignett and Singh went for Bates, but was it the right call? The result was split, but in favour of the former Boro and Pools defender.
53.7% of you think the top brass were right to give Bates a run in the permanent role. 43.5% of you think he lacked the experience.
Were Pools right to sack Matthew Bates?
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It started so well, but ended so badly. That statement just about sums up the tenure of Bates.
The result on this was unanimous - 85.9% of you think Singh and Hignett got the call correct.
Were Hartlepool wrong to consider Richard Money for the manager's job?
This was a simple yes or no answer and I think you can probably all guess the result of it.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but this appointment did not feel right from the minute it was suggested. Even some people within the club had their reservations.
So did you. Just 20.8% thought Pools were right to consider the former Walsall boss, while 76% think he should not have been in their thinking.
What is a realistic target for Pools next season?
Having finished lower mid-table last season, much more is expected by the powers that be at Pools this campaign.
And that's something that fits in with your views.
While a small amount of you polled thinks avoiding relegation and mid-table would be realistic (yes, really) 17% think a top half finish is within the realms of possibility, while a comprehensive 67.1% think play-offs is the aim. 8.5% think automatic should be the aim.
In reality, what are your expectations for 2019/20?
We asked you what Pools should aim for, but what do you think they will achieve is a very difficult question.
Play-off is what Poolies want next season - 51.6% of fans, in fact.
A further 26.9% think Pools can achieve a top half finish with 12% going for another mid-table campaign.