Matthew Bates will get time to deliver at Hartlepool United, according to director of football Craig Hignett.

Pools’ targets for next season are relatively modest given the size of the club. The Pools hierarchy are looking to simply stabilise in 2018/19, after a season of financial and footballing turmoil.

While a promotion push would, of course, be welcomed, it’s not being seen as a requirement, with new owner Raj Singh more than happy to keep the cash flowing even if it takes Pools two or three more season to get back where they belong. This kind of time and patience was not afforded to Hignett himself at Pools, sacked in January 2017, the year the club dropped out of the Football League for the first time in their history.

And he is welcoming this approach from Singh, with 31-year-old Bates only in his first job in football management.

“I know the problems he’s been faced with, I have good experience of this club in the tough times,” said Hignett about Pools’ past troubles.

“This is a great job. He’s going to be given time to build something, as long as we see little steps moving forward.”

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