Hartllepool’s Franks says he needs to improve his final ball

Jonathan Franks in action against Morecambe. Picture by FRANK REID
Jonathan Franks in action against Morecambe. Picture by FRANK REID

JONATHAN Franks admits he needs to improve his final ball if he is to stay in the plans of new Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore.

The 24-year-old forward has been an ever- present under Moore, who he says has been “different class” since taking over the reins at the Sky Bet League Two club.

But Franks still flatters to deceive at times, working hard and getting into good positions but struggling with his end-product into the penalty area.

The former Middlesbrough striker is honest enough to admit that and he knows he has to work on that side of his game.

In 25 appearances for the club this term, playing mainly on the flanks, he has just one assist.

Pools go into Saturday’s game away to Wycombe Wanderers on the back of a 2-0 home defeat to Morecambe at Victoria Park.

It was a disappointing way to end 2014 and Franks – who has four goals to his name this season – knows the players must improve quickly going into the second half of the season.

He told SportMail: “The first half against Mansfield Town on Boxing Day was poor but second half we did well and I saw a lot of the ball.

“I saw a lot of the ball again against Morecambe but put some poor crosses in, hitting the first man a few times.

“That needs to improve.

“I managed to put some good ones in as well but we need to get on the end of them.

“The message from the manager at half-time against Morecambe was similar to the Mansfield match – the performance wasn’t good enough first half.

“We had to get the ball wide to me and Michael [Duckworth] more to try to hurt them.”

Since Moore has come in as boss, Franks has started all three matches against Oxford United, Mansfield Town and Morecambe.

And he has been impressed with the immediate impact the former Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham boss has made. Franks said: “The manager has been different class.

“He has been right in what he says and we need to show more heart and bravery to get on the ball.

“The shape has also been a lot better, certainly since he came in as manager.”

l MOORE must see Scott play: Page 30