Andy Monkhouse ready for new role under John Hughes

Andy Monkhouse in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID
Andy Monkhouse in action against Walsall. Picture by FRANK REID

ANDY Monkhouse is ready to reinvent himself as a central-midfielder for new boss John Hughes.

Each of the last two Pools managers have had different ideas on the player’s best position.

Mick Wadsworth saw Monkhouse – traditionally a left-winger – as a striker, while Neale Cooper chose to deploy him on the right wing.

Monkhouse still believes he operates most effectively on the left, but Hughes has used him in the middle of the park in recent matches.

And the 32-year-old today told SportMail: “I’ve been a centre-forward, right-winger, left-winger – but I’ve said many a time that I’ll play anywhere.

“Just as long as I’m doing a job for the team I’m happy.

“I’ve been in the middle in the last couple and I think I’ve done OK – I’ve managed to get on the ball quite a bit.”

And Monkhouse already appreciates Hughes’ philosophy on the game.

“The new gaffer just wants to play football and he won’t blame us for mistakes,” he went on.

“That’s good for us as players that he wants to play football rather booting the ball to big Stevie Howard’s head every two minutes.

“People are going to make mistakes and he said ‘if no-one made mistakes then everyone would be a Barcelona’.

“Players are going to make mistakes, but at the moment we have made more than any other team.

“We need to cut them out and start playing better football and hopefully the results will come with that.”

Monkhouse’s return to action has been a welcome one for Hughes.

The long-serving midfielder had spent six weeks on the sidelines with ankle-ligament damage before the new man’s arrival, and he reflected: “The injury was a bit of a nightmare.

“Buster (physio Ian Gallagher) has been different class and he got me back quite quickly to be fair.

“We thought it might have been a bit later.

“I was delighted to get 60 minutes and then 90 minutes in the space of a few days and I feel strong.

“I’ve had this two-week break to work on my fitness now ahead of Stevenage this Saturday.

“This is the game we have to come out and prove Walsall (1-1 draw) was a start for us and we need a win as soon as possible.”