Cooper Delighted With Bates Capture
Manager Colin Cooper has said he couldn't have been happier when making Matthew Bates our first summer signing ahead of next season.
Having known the player for more than a decade having worked with him when he came through the ranks at Middlesbrough, Cooper told the Official Site that Bates had every attribute necessary to be a big hit at Victoria Park and he has the attitude that he's looking for in players as we try and push ourselves up the table next term.
'I can't begin to explain how pleased I am that he's chosen to come and sign. Obviously it's no secret that we had Christian Burgess on loan and Sam Collins played a big part last season so we needed centre halves and Matthew is as good as it gets.'
Cooper goes on to say that he's looking for players who want to play for the club and understand that they are joining something good here, because he believes we can only improve, and it was Matt who phoned him at the end of the campaign to ask him about his plans for the coming season and that's where the deal started to come about.
'I've known him since he was 15 and seen him play in some high profile games in the past, I think everyone understands the tough time he's had with injuries but hopefully that's all behind him now. What I see is someone who is big, strong and aggressive with good technical ability, organisational skills and leadership qualities - I would say we've got very lucky to get him.'
Having played there himself during his own playing career, Coops says that playing centre half is all about 'position, awareness and organisation' and Bates has that in spades in his mind and he feels he'll play a huge part in us being successful next season.
Of course, he also gives us a few options as he can perform at fullback and in midfield if needed because of how good he is on the ball, that gives us a touch additional cover as the season draws on if needed, but he's obviously been signed for the middle of defence and potentially as a skipper to be.
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