GOALSCORING saviour Jonathan Franks believes his Hartlepool United team mates showed “real character” to come back from two down to secure a point, writes Richard Mennear.
The 23-year-old forward was the star of the show on Saturday against Cheltenham Town, scoring two fine second half goals to ensure Colin Cooper’s side left Gloucestershire with a point.
Franks, who usually plays on the wing, started up front alongside Andy Monkhouse in a new look 3-5-2 formation, which saw 10-goal top scorer Luke James and strike partner James Poole on the bench.
It almost backfired as Pools went in at the break losing 2-0 but they fought back well to gain a point.
Indeed, it was such a spirited second half performance that the players came away disappointed only to draw the Sky Bet League Two match.
Stockton-born Franks, who now has four goals this season, has praised his team mates for their character and resilience.
Franks: “It wasn’t a good start and we were two goals down at the break but the lads showed real character.
“We knew we had to work hard and we certainly did that second half.
“We looked dead and buried at half time but managed to get ourselves back into it and could have even won it.”
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Franks played his 23rd match of the season on Saturday but has been in and out of the team in recent weeks and admitted he has had to be patient.
The former Middlesbrough winger said: “I’ve been champing at the bit and every opportunity to knock on the gaffer’s door I’ve been there.
“All the lads have a great attitude and work hard in training every day and it is hard for the gaffer to pick a team.
“We had the good run and the momentum was good but had a few results of late which meant he has had to change it.
“That obviously gave me the opportunity up front and I took that by scoring two goals.”
His brace against the Robins saw him match last season’s tally of four goals and the lively forward is now looking to cement his place in the team.
Franks, who also had a first-half goal chalked off for a foul, said: “Like every striker you want to be scoring goals and I’ll certainly take that.
“You have to get your foothold in the team and look to move forward.
“I’m not really too bothered where I play as long as I’m out there but games like Saturday suit me playing down the middle.
“I should have had the three though because there was nothing wrong with the first one.
“The referee gave a free-kick for a foul on Sweens [Antony Sweeney] but I thought that was very harsh.
“Overall we are disappointed not to get the three points but we are happy with the point, especially with the situation at half-time.”