GO FOUR IT: Pools boss reveals new strategy for visit of MK Dons

Antony Sweeney in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID
Antony Sweeney in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes could name FOUR frontmen in his starting XI in a bid to end Hartlepool United’s nine-hour goal drought.

The Pools boss says he is considering the bold approach having grown frustrated at his side’s failure to find the net during the past six matches.

With Hughes unable to add fresh blood to his squad as a result of budget restrictions, the Scot concedes he will have to work with those already at the club.

And that could mean perming four from his six attacking options of Jonathan Franks, Charlie Wyke, Steve Howard, Luke James, James Poole and Andy Monkhouse.

“We might have to go two right through the middle with two wide of them,” Hughes told SportMail ahead of Friday’s visit of MK Dons.

“We might have to buckle our seatbelts and be expansive to win a football match.

“It could be fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants stuff and try to keep the back door closed.

“What we have is Charlie, Stevie, Monks, Luke, Franksy and Poolie.

“So it could be four up front with Sweeney coming from deep.

“We have to come up with a system to score goals and win games – even if we go gung-ho and leave it wide open, then we will have to do that.”

Regardless of the system he starts with on Good Friday, Hughes will demand more from all of his players when it comes to breaking their duck in front of goal.

It is a barren run which has severely dented their survival hopes, leaving them six points from safety with just six matches remaining.

But Hughes believes his men must take more responsibility for their scoreless plight.

“Good players influence a game and make it happen, they don’t wait for someone else to do something,” he went on.

“It’s easy to kick it away 40 yards and hope, you need to make it happen.

“You need to say ‘I’m going to be the man who makes a difference here’.

“We lack a goal threat and there is no hiding it.

“But we have shown we can score goals, it’s just a case of rediscovering that belief.”