Well, what a week! For some, the sacking of Matthew Bates was the good news. 

The bad news was twofold. First, we extended our losing run in league games to seven and, second, our attendances nosedived to around 1,700 and 2,000 for last week’s encounters. This was surely a case of Poolies voting with their feet and its this that must have finally influenced Raj Singh in seeking a change of manager.

In some ways, I did feel sorry for Matthew Bates. He led us to safety last season but a combination of tactical naivety and bad luck ultimately cost him his job. The naivety came with relying on two ‘midget gems’ as strikers and against the big centre halves they were left struggling. We thought that perhaps Luke Williams would make things easier but, hey ho, he hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since signing for Pools. I’ve always thought that Liam Noble shouldn’t be taking corners – better to be in the mix in the opponents’ penalty area where he could cause problems. And then there was the Barnet game. We went into the game without Andrew Davies and Carl Magnay, through suspension, and we paid the price. Injuries and suspensions are things that a manager can’t control. Having started off so well, we are now all wondering whether another relegation dogfight stares us in the face.

I can quite believe Raj Singh when he says the club have had a lot of applications for the manager’s job. Pools will always be attractive to out of work managers and those seeking to climb the ladder. Do well at Pools and there’s a chance you’ll get a bigger club – Brian Clough, Len Ashurst and Chris Turner being examples. All sorts of names are being bandied around as to who should be our next manager. Some say that Ronnie Moore should return but maybe I have my doubts. When Ronnie Moore led us to safety some three years ago his main attribute was tapping the loan market. Quality players like Aaron Tshibola and Jordan Hugill came to fight the Pools cause but would quality players like that come and slum it in the National League? I very much doubt it.
"we are now all wondering whether another relegation dogfight stares us in the face."

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Pools will have to start playing for the full game – and that includes added time. Both this season, and last season, we have given too many goals away in the final minutes and its cost us dear. Still, we’ve given a new manager time to turn things round. Who knows, seven WINS on the trot might put us within the play offs.
Anyway, let’s hope it’s a happy Christmas for us. We need cheering up.

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