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Bates' Blog: We've Shown Our Ambition

2 July 2018

Matthew Bates Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Pools boss Matthew Bates

We get the latest update from the Pools boss as he shares his views on transfer progress, pre-season training and the World Cup.

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest Blog here on the Official Website.

I’m very pleased with the way that things have gone over the last week and the signings we’ve been able to bring in to the Football Club.

Liam Noble was a fairly quick deal to do and we managed to get it over the line on Saturday morning. He didn’t hide the fact he wanted to come and we didn’t hide the fact we wanted him so the offer went in, we discussed all the details and got it done very quickly.

If I’m being honest, Liam was probably a distant target if that’s the right way to phrase it – in that we were interested in bringing him here but didn’t think it would be possible. Similar to Andrew Davies, I think he will bring with him experience, leadership in the dressing room and some aggressiveness so I think he will prove to be a fans’ favourite at the Club.

It highlights that we’re still a big club in that we can attract players like him and that he was willing to drop down a division to play for us. He’s only 27 so he has his best years in front of him so it shows the kind of targets we have and what we’re trying to achieve.

I also would like to think it shows the ambition we have that we’re going after players of Liam’s calibre. We’ve never hidden the fact we want to do well; I am the Manager and I want us to finish as high as we can in the new season. We want to be up there in the top half, competing for the play-off places and I’m sure all the lads feel the same - that has to be the target.

I have to say that I have been very pleased with the first week of pre-season training. I told the lads before we got going to expect hard work and it’s certainly been that but they’ve just got on with it and it’s been great.

Touch wood but so far we’ve had no injuries – the worst we’ve had to cope with is a few blisters here and there and sunburn! I’m one of the biggest victims of the sunburn sadly, it’s been very hot!

I have been impressed with the desire the lads have shown though. It feels like a different club at the moment. We did a session last week which was basically a keep-ball exercise, though there is always something related to how we want to play on a Saturday, there’ll be no aimless sessions. During the work the lads were niggling at each other if passes went astray or things weren’t going right – and I told them that I don’t mind that. I don’t think that sort of complaining would have happened in the past but when you’re having a go it’s because you want things done right – it’s a change and it’s a change for the better.

Away from training there are still conversations going on regarding potential transfers but the budget is starting to get a little tight and it might be we have to look at moving players out before we can bring any more in. It’s a possibility that will happen but things can take time – a lot of our business may have been done quickly but I don’t think that’s the norm really.

We will still have trialists in at the training ground and keep looking at things so if anything jumps out at you then we’ll have to see what can be done. Overall, I expect it might be a slower process now though in terms of incomings and then we can also look towards the loan market as we go on.

Everyone in the camp is also really excited about the England game on Tuesday night but I have to admit that I am not getting carried away too much. The way that things have gone for England over the years it would be just like us to be beaten by Colombia – we’ve had our hopes dashed plenty of times in the past!

It’s certainly opened right up and we’ve got a good chance to go far in the competition but people are saying Colombia aren’t the best – from what I’ve seen they’ve done quite well and it will be a tough game. I’m excited and quietly confident but I’m not going too far at the minute!

Finally, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has renewed their Season Tickets so far. To get past 2,200 is brilliant and on behalf of everyone at the Club I want to let you know how grateful we are.

Enjoy the England game wherever you’re watching.


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