MATTHEW BATES is the second youngest managerial appointment in Hartlepool United’s history, and is determined to repay the faith shown in him.

Bates, 31, took caretaker stewardship at Pools for the last 13 games of the season, but has now been tasked with improving fortunes at Victoria Park.

Only Brian Clough (30) has been a younger Pools boss and, while there was a feeling that Bates may be too inexperienced for the role, he has no concerns about the job ahead.

“The modern game is changing - new formations, new styles - you see how clubs are looking to recruit young managers because of that,’’ he reflected. “I think that is the way forward and it is my job to prove it is.

“I have just come out of playing and I am honest with the players whether they like it or not.

“I have always said that, as a player, you can see through a manager who lies to you.

“I think it helps in that way as I think I know how to speak to players.

“There will be bumps and bruises, mistakes along the way, but I hope to do well.’’

Bates has worked under his share of managers in his playing career, including two England bosses at Middlesbrough in Steve McClaren and Gareth Southgate.

And he admits he will rely on some of his former bosses for advice when circumstances dictate.

He said: “I could be sat all day talking about individual managers - their good bits and bad bits .

I don't think that's right.

“If a certain situation comes up and I know a manager has dealt with something similar well in the past I will talk to them.

“It is just about taking the good with the bad.

“I have had a lot of injuries in the past so I have had an eye on being a manager for some time. It is with that in mind that you look at every action of your manager and see what he does well, in your eyes, and what he does not.

“Everyone is different. Someone might look at something I don't like as good. It is about being true to yourself. The moment you don't believe in yourself the players won't either.’’

Bates spent yesterday and today informing his players of his plans for next season, with the club’s retained list to be announced later this week.

Jonathan Franks, who left Pools for Wrexham in the January transfer window when the club needed to move players on, has been released by the North Wales club.