Liam Noble was left out of the Hartlepool United squad on Saturday, boss Matthew Bates consigning the midfielder to the sidelines, The Northern Echo report.

Noble watched Pools’ fifth National League defeat in a row from the sidelines, as Bates took a hard stance with the midfielder.

It is understood Bates took the decision after Noble clashed with a number of his team-mates on the team bus on Friday after he criticised some of the players over what they were eating. Noble discovered he was being left out of the team only when the team was announced after Pools arrived at the ground.

The summer signing from Notts County then headed over to the main stand to speak with Pools officials. Craig Hignett, the director of football, Mark Maguire, the club’s chief executive, and director Ian Scobbie were at the game and spoke to the player.

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