Hartlepool Utd’s starman would trade plaudits for points

Jonathan Franks in action against Oldham Athletic. Picture by FRANK REID
Jonathan Franks in action against Oldham Athletic. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United 0 Team X 5 – man-of-the-match Jonathan Franks.

It’s a sight the winger is fed up of seeing.

In each of Pools’ morale-sapping drubbings this season it has been Franks who has emerged with the star-man prize.

But the former Middlesbrough man would rather put in a shocker if it meant Pools breaking their 18-match winless run.

“I’d love to be man-of-the-match in a victory – but any victory would be a start, even if I have a bad game!” smiled the 22-year-old.

“It’s quite strange how I’ve been man-of-the-match in the heavy defeats – I don’t know why that is and it’s not really something to be proud of.

“I just seem to have played well in those games.”

Franks, under new boss John Hughes, has been deployed in a central role behind the frontman in recent matches.

And it’s a position in which the Stockton-born star believes he excels.

“I’ve been given a little bit more freedom,” revealed Franks.

“The new gaffer has come in and has been brilliant with everyone.

“He’s given everyone a clean slate and wants everyone to be positive.

“I enjoy this role because I see a lot more of the ball in dangerous areas.

“I’ve got the option of going wide or staying in the middle.

“I’ve played there before and I’m comfortable there, it gives you more responsibility.”

Pools’ latest luckless outing was the 2-1 midweek defeat to Oldham Athletic, in which an individual error from Scott Flinders, a needless red card to Neil Austin and Jack Baldwin’s late handball in the penalty area all contributed to the loss.

And Franks reflected: “Tuesday was just the breaks we’re getting, or not getting, at the moment.

“But we’ve been saying that for a few weeks now.

“The goals they scored were our own fault.

“That was disappointing because they keep happening.

“We’ve been better in recent weeks but we can’t keep saying that.

“We need a win as soon as possible and tomorrow, going into the two-week break, would be an ideal time.”