Hartlepool Utd’s wing wizards can lead revival

Jack Compton and Jonathan Franks
Jack Compton and Jonathan Franks

COLIN Cooper believes Hartlepool United wing wizards Jack Compton and Jonathan Franks will be key if the club are to mount an early-season revival.

The pair bagged a goal apiece and laid on the other three during Tuesday night’s 5-0 smashing of Bradford City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

And the duo will again lead the attacking assault as Pools bid for their first league goal of the campaign against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Cooper is set to name an unchanged side for the visit of the Chairboys, who have won their last two matches.

But the Pools boss is confident that his men will be buoyed by their midweek triumph, his widemen in particular.

“Everything fell nicely on Tuesday, especially for the two wingers,” Cooper told SportMail.

“They were involved in all of the goals and got on the scoresheet themselves, which does any player the world of good.

“I have said all along that I believe we have the players to hurt teams.

“It has been hard at times having to repeatedly say that, but on Tuesday we saw a lot of things come together.

“Can we now do it again on Saturday? That is the challenge.”

Franks had been deployed in a centre-forward role during the goalless draw at Torquay United on Saturday but was reverted to the right wing on Tuesday.

And Cooper went on: “Franksy is the one who we feel has looked a genuine threat.

“When we’ve trained he looks as though he wants to score a goal.

“At Torquay we put him through the middle because he looked like the one to get us a goal.

“He was getting into dangerous areas and can shift the ball from his right to left foot.

“But we put him back on the right wing on Tuesday and he was a threat all night.

“Likewise Jack, they got at their men and some of the deliveries were fantastic and got their reward with goals.”

Cooper, though, has a word of warning for his wingers.

“The one thing Jon and Jack have to do is that, when we don’t have the ball, they have to become midfield players,” he said.

“You feel as though you’re becoming a chess master constantly pulling them inside, but that’s the way they’ll learn to do it, it will become natural.

“If they can do that and give us their threat going forward then that’s brilliant, that’s what we’re after.”