Bates right man for Pools – Donnelly

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Defender Liam Donnelly believes Matthew Bates is the right man to lead National League club Hartlepool United.

Bates is on the verge of being named Pools’ boss full-time, having beaten off competition from three other interviewees for the top job at Victoria Park.

And Northern Irishman Donnelly is in no doubt that the former defender is the best candidate for the post.

When asked about whether Bates is the man for Pools, Donnelly, who is out of contract this summer, replied: “100%, yes.

“Myself and all the lads, everyone, knows what a good job he has done since he’s come in.

“And it has to be remembered that is has come in under very difficult circumstances. All the lads are behind him 100% – everyone wants to see him get the job.”

Donnelly was one of Pools’ stand-out men last weekend in the season-ending win at Tranmere.

He even netted from the spot in the 2-1 victory.

On his penalty, he said: “I didn’t feel too much pressure, to be honest. The keeper got a hand to it, but thankfully it went in.”

He continued: “It was a performance that should have come a lot earlier in the season. It was something the fans deserved and I’m glad we were able to give it to them.

“We did well and I think we thoroughly deserved it.

“This should lay good foundations for us.

“If we kick on next season and play like that the there is no reason why we can’t be in the mix and get back in the Football League. This shows what we can do.”

“Tranmere have been flying – they are second in the league – so it shows what we can do.

“We should be challenging in this league. We should be up there.

“It was good to perform for the fans. It’s a bit of laugh seeing all the clowns when we celebrated, but whether the Poolies were in fancy dress or not I’m sure they enjoyed it.

“We delivered the victory they deserved.”