JONATHAN Franks admits it has been a tough task chasing the free-passing Dutch – but feels he has still shown glimpses of what he will bring to Hartlepool United.
The 22-year-old summer signing was arguably Pools’ star man during last night’s 3-0 defeat to Almere City, the former Boro trainee delivering a string of enticing crosses during a much-improved second-half display.
Franks has taken confidence having started both games of the tour on the right-wing and, while he insists his best is yet to come, he was pleased with his performance against the Jupiler League outfit.
“I was really involved the first five minutes and we started well,” he reflected with SportMail today.
“But then I drifted out of it a bit and we didn’t really get it going as a team.
“In the second half I was involved again and I was happy, I got quite a few good balls into the box and we started to click and create chances.
“It was just a shame that big Steve (Howard) was off by the time I found my range!”
The defeat was a second in three days for Franks and co following the 2-0 reverse to Telstar on Sunday.
And the Stockton-born star believes the games have been both a physical and mental workout.
“It’s tough against the Dutch sides,” he went on.
“You spend a lot of time closing people down because they like to pass it so much.
“But you’ve not got to get frustrated and you’ve just got to stick to your shape and keep your discipline.
“I thought we did that last night and in the second half we were much better and started to play ourselves.
“We put them under a lot of pressure but the second goal killed us because we were on top at that point.
“We were getting lots of balls in the box and I think we looked like scoring.
“But after that second goal our heads went down a little bit and, in the end, we’re pretty disappointed with the result.”