Matthew Bates is predicting another exciting encounter at The Super 6 Stadium this weekend as Pools return to National League action with the visit of Ebbsfleet United.
There was plenty of entertainment on offer during Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Harrogate Town and the Pools boss reckons Saturday’s game could follow a similar pattern.
Bates has instilled an attacking mentality in his players since taking over permanently and whilst he wants that same level of adventure this weekend, he also knows the team need to stay switched on defensively.
The Fleet were among the best sides in the division on the road last term as they made their way to the semi-finals of the play-offs before being beaten by Tranmere Rovers.
And Daryl McMahon’s visitors recovered from an opening day home defeat to National League new boys Chesterfield to pick up a creditable point at Leyton Orient in midweek.
“Ebbsfleet are a good side, I like the way they play,” Bates told Pools PlayerHD.
“I have had them watched, I’ve watched them myself and they’ve got a good, young Manager who I like.
“It looks as though it will be another entertaining game because they’re expansive like we are and they play a similar sort of shape too.
“But as much as we want to be entertaining, we also need to make sure we do the right things at the business end.
“We have signed nine new players so it does take time for everyone to get to know each other and learn their strengths and weaknesses.
“But let’s be honest, we haven’t got a lot of time – we want to start the season strongly and get wins on board so that’s what we’ll be looking to do on Saturday.”
Bates has also paid tribute to the Pools supporters who have turned out in force – both in numbers and noise – during the opening to the new campaign.
Tuesday night’s attendance of 3,623 was the largest home turnout for a midweek evening kick-off in almost three years and the Pools boss is keen to reward them with another good showing on Saturday.
“The fans have been great,” he admitted.
“They were great at Maidstone and again the other night and I hope the majority of them enjoyed the performance because it was full of effort.
“I’m a football fan myself and I want to see good football, I want to see hard work and players fighting for the shirt and not giving up – and that’s what we saw the other night, I think.”