Matthew Bates admits he cannot fault the attitude or application of the Hartlepool United squad since he was handed the temporary reins.

Bates has been in charge of Pools for five games, having been thrown into the hotseat after the sacking of former TNS boss Craig Harrison after just eight months at Victoria Park. His first game, having only had one full training session alone with his players, was an abject defeat to Ebbsfleet United. But from that low Pools have been on an upward curve.

They were a referee’s call away from at least a point in defeat at Aldershot, then they recorded two battling draws against promotion-chasing Boreham Wood and then from 3-1 down at AFC Fylde. And finally, their positivity was rewarded on Wednesday when, again coming from behind, Pools recorded their first win under Bates this season.

“I cannot thank the lads enough,” said Bates of his players, who sit just three points above the National League relegation zone. “They have been absolutely magnificent since I have taken caretaker charge.

“This group is together, and they are all fighting for each other.”

Read more at: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk

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