MARTINI MAN – Jordan Richards will be play ‘any time, any place, anywhere’ for Hartlepool Utd

Jordan Richards in action against Bristol Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

Jordan Richards in action against Bristol Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

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JORDAN Richards would “love” to make the right-back position his own at Hartlepool United.

But the attack-minded defender says he is “happy” to be the ‘Martini’ man – any time, any place, anywhere.

Richards was the first player this summer to put his signature on the extended deal Pools put on the table to their gifted young players.

And his agreement to stay means that Colin Cooper has two right-backs who have the panache for going forward – Michael Duckworth proving a brilliant weapon in the opposition half.

Duckworth, the away player of the year at the end of an outstanding debut season, will be the obvious candidate to start come the opening Sky Bet League Two fixture on August 9.

That will not stop Richards for going all out for the slot but adds that he’d be happy to play further forward and appear in the same team as Duckworth.

“I played 20-odd games last season and my aim is to play more next time,” Richards told SportMail.

“I would love that to be at right-back – my aim is to be the best right-back.

“But I am happy to play anywhere as long as I am in the team.

“I played right wing a bit last season and I would not find that a problem if that was the case again.

“Michael came in last summer and he’s been fantastic for us.

“He’s been a great addition to the squad and I’ve enjoyed playing in the team with him, all the lads have.

“I think when we’ve been in the same side that we’ve linked up well together down the right and we can do it again.”

The Sunderland-born talent has been at Pools since he was 10 and made his debut as a teenager in League One.

That is the level where Richards says Pools want and need to get back to.

“I love being at the club,” he said,

“I think we’ll come back better next year and we’ll push on for promotion and get the club back into League One, where we belong.

“I made my debut in League One and that’s where we should be really.

“We got relegated in 2013 which was disappointing for everyone, it was a bad season.

“We flirted a bit at the top end last season before falling away, but we are used to this League now and our aim has to get promotion.”