Hartlepool Utd’s new look strike force to be unleashed on Tranmere Rovers

Andy Monkhouse
Andy Monkhouse

MICK Wadsworth will unleash his new-look front duo on Tranmere Rovers tonight – and the manager admits he may have hit upon a winning formula.

Andy Monkhouse and James Poole will again be paired in attack for the visit of the Merseysiders this evening (KO 7.45pm) having starred in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Chesterfield.

Poole netted twice at the B2Net Stadium as Wadsworth’s men reversed a worrying slide of three straight defeats.

It was the second game in a row that the previous first-choice strike partnership of Adam Boyd and Colin Nish had started from the bench.

And, with Poole’s burning pace allied to the smart link-up play and aerial threat of Monkhouse, Wadsworth believes the combination has all the ingredients to prosper over coming matches.

“I thought Poole and Monks worked very well as a pair,” he told SportMail today.

“Nishy and Boydy had a great start to the season and got us goals.

“Then they’ve had a little blip. But isn’t it great when we can just change the strikers and get something from the other lads? But that’s why they’re here.

“Pooley scored two terrific goals on Saturday and Andy was tremendous in the air and worked his socks off for the team.

“We’ve had a bit of a barren spell scoring goals and that was a little bit of a worry, so to get three, and it could have been more, was very encouraging.”

Monkhouse enjoyed a new lease of life last season when converted from left-winger to centre-forward.

And, after an indifferent start to this season which had seen him relegated to the bench, Wadsworth is hoping that a change in position will again trigger a positive reaction from the talented Yorkshireman.

“I said more than a few times last year that I fancied playing Andy down the middle,” the manager added.

“I think at his age it suits him.

“We know he can do his job on the left or right but it’s nice to freshen your game up when you get to 30.

“He’s done that job all of his career and now he’s got something else to think about.

“And I think it keeps you on your toes.

“He’s got all the attributes because he’s good in the air, has a good shot and is good on the ball.

“He just has to find that consistency now but I thought he was very good at the weekend.”