JONATHAN Franks was a Yeovil Town player watching from the stands at Huish Park the last time Hartlepool United journeyed to Somerset.
The winger – on loan with The Glovers from Middlesbrough – had been told by boss Gary Johnson that he would not be featuring against Pools.
Perhaps, suspects Franks, Johnson was wary of Neale Cooper’s interest in his signature and chose not to showcase his talents, for the Yeovil chief was plotting a summer move himself.
Either way, Franks watched on as a below-par Pools stole a 1-0 victory thanks to Ryan Noble’s instinctive finish.
And that is an outcome Franks would happily welcome tomorrow.
“It was a strange one for me last year,” he reflected, “The gaffer pulled me on the Wednesday and said I wouldn’t be playing.
“I was disappointed because Hartlepool was a local team and I knew a couple of the lads.
“I’d played all of the other games so I was a bit surprised – whether he knew Hartlepool were interested in signing me I don’t know.
“But I was in the stands to see Pools win 1-0.
“Yeovil played well and Pools were poor to be honest.
“But we’ll take that tomorrow – a 1-0 win and a terrible performance will do me!”
Franks credits Johnson and the coaching staff at Yeovil for helping relaunch his career.
He signed for Pools soon after and currently finds himself top of the scoring charts with his new club.
Franks, though, admits that his form, on the whole, has been indifferent.
“I’ve been a bit hit and miss,” he said when asked about his campaign to date.
“My two best performances before Wednesday (against Tranmere) were the two 5-0 defeats!”
He went on: “I just need more consistency.
“It’s been hard for everyone recently because it’s been defeat after defeat.
“But since Micky (Barron) has taken over we have changed the style of play.
“I’ve come back in to the team now and I enjoy a 4-3-3.
“You’ve got a little bit more freedom to get out wide and get at the full-back.
“Hopefully I’ve done enough to stay in the team now.”