Ex-Hartlepool forward claims he is too good to be involved in relegation scraps after Ross County switch

Jonathan Franks in action against Carlisle United. Picture by FRANK REID
Jonathan Franks in action against Carlisle United. Picture by FRANK REID

Jonathan Franks claims he is too good to be involved in relegation struggles with Hartlepool United after signing for Ross County.

The 25-year-old has penned a two-year deal with the Scottish Premier League side, insisting it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

And he is looking forward to his new challenge after two years of struggle with League Two Pools, with Franks claiming he has high standards and is “better than that”.

That will come as a surprise to Pools fans, with the forward’s inconsistent form infuriating supporters.

“I’m looking forward to getting started,” said Franks, who joined Pools in 2012 and made 143 appearances, scoring just 16 times.

“I came up on Tuesday with the family, had a look around the club and town and we’ve loved every minute of it.

“Hartlepool have had a hard time, struggling recently.

“I’ve got high standards and think I’m better than that.

“When I got the offer to come up to the Scottish Premier League it was quite hard to turn down.

“It’s a great opportunity - once in a lifetime, really. If you do well, you can move on but I’m fully focused now on Ross County.

“They obviously have targets next year and hopefully we can achieve those.

“The Scottish Premier league is a big step in the right direction for me.”

Franks, who had been offered reduced terms by Pools boss Ronnie Moore, had also been interesting League One side Scunthorpe United.

Former Pools boss Neale Cooper, who spent six years managing Ross County, signed Franks for Pools, with the forward revealing another of his former managers had words of encouragement ahead of his move.

“I didn’t speak to Neale [Cooper], but I know he has spent a lot of time at this club and I don’t doubt he would have recommended it,” added Franks.

“He’s a good man, who signed me at Hartlepool.

“I also worked under John Hughes for a short time and really enjoyed it with Yogi.

“You can see he’s done a good job over the road [at Inverness Caledonian Thistle] and he actually got in touch to wish me well signing here, saying it is a brilliant club.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to has said good words.”

The hardworking former Middlesbrough academy graduate also praised the grounding he received at the Riverside outfit as he looks to hit the ground running in Scotland.

“The Middlesbrough Academy gave me a terrific grounding and hopefully everything I’ve learned in the past I can bring with me to Ross County,” added Franks.

“I played under some good managers like Gordon Strachan and Tony Mowbray.

“Every manager has been a different experience and you learn different things.

“Strachan was obviously another Scottish manager and his mentality was always about intensity and working hard, similar to the gaffer here.”

He will link up with former Pools teammate Darren Holden in Scotland after the left-back also signed a two-year deal with County this week.

“It’s quite weird, really, that we both signed for the same club but Darren’s a good lad and we’re looking forward to getting started,” added Franks.

A Pools spokesman said: “Everyone at Hartlepool United would like to wish him all the very best for the future.”