Matthew Bates has admitted that he’s been pleased with what he’s seen so far during pre-season and wants his players to carry that on at Spennymoor Town on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Pools opened their warm-up campaign with a draw at Billingham Town before coming close to beating League One Sunderland who needed a last-minute leveller to snatch a draw at The Vic.
Bates’ men produced a dominant showing in midweek to run out 4-0 winners at Shildon and their next text arrives with a trip to National League North outfit Spennymoor this weekend.
Jason Ainsley took The Moors to within goal difference of a play-off spot last term and they also enjoyed a good run in the FA Trophy so Bates thinks they form perfect opposition for Pools with the big kick-off just a fortnight away.
“They’re close to us in terms of their division so no doubt it will be a test,” he told us.
“Jason has done a great job and he’s got Tommy Miller as Assistant alongside him who I know well and I’m sure they’ll be up there again this season.
“They were unfortunate last year because they had a real fixtures backlog at the end but I am pretty sure they will have another successful year coming up.
“I think a Saturday game is always better for supporters to get there and make a day of it – we’ll have some of our new signings on show again in the game so hopefully plenty of Pools fans are there.
“I have been encouraged by the way we’ve played so far and hopefully the fans have too. I’ve seen a lot of things I’ve liked and plenty of stuff we’ve worked on in training coming to fruition on the pitch.
“This weekend marks the next step so we want to continue what we’ve done already and keep on gradually building things up to the start of the season.”
Bates will be without the services of Peter Kioso who has taken a knock in training, while fellow summer signing Paddy McLaughlin is still recovering from a virus so won’t feature.
Aaron Cunningham returned to full training on Friday morning after shrugging off an ankle problem but Saturday’s game will come too soon for him and he won’t be risked.