Matthew Bates said he was satisfied with the way his side performed in their pre-season draw against Sunderland but admitted there were still things to work on.
The Pools boss saw his players come close to taking victory after Niko Muir’s 19th-minute goal separated the sides only for The Black Cats to snatch a draw right at the end.
However, that disappointment didn’t really affect Bates’ view on the run out and he feels like things are moving in a positive direction with three weeks to go until the big kick-off.
“I enjoyed the game,” he told Pools PlayerHD.
“It was a warm game so it was tiring – the lads who played sixty minutes say they feel like they’ve played ninety but overall I was pleased.
“I was probably happier with the out-of-possession stuff, I thought defensively our shape was very good whereas we rushed it a bit when we were on the ball but we were playing against a League One side.
“Niko did very well for the goal; it was good finish but we’ve seen him in training and know he’s got that in his locker – I wouldn’t like to mark him because he’s quick when he gets his legs going.
“It would have been nice to say we’d won the game but I would rather get those last-minute goals out of the way during pre-season!”
Bates was also impressed with the pre-match ceremony which was held to officially open The Neale Cooper Stand sponsored by East Durham College.
Neale’s daughters, Amy and Ellie, were both in attendance as guests of the Club as the stand was unveiled and both Pools and Sunderland supporters got right behind the tribute.
“I thought it all went very well – it was really well-organised by the Club.
“You saw the reaction from the fans and that told you how much they thought of Neale so it’s a great, great thing that has been done for him and I think he deserves it.”