ANDY Monkhouse believes Hartlepool United’s continual failure to sign a 20-goal-a-season striker is set to cost them their League One status.
A run of eight matches without a goal – the latest blank coming during yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at Stevenage – is almost certain to see Pools relegated to the bottom division for the first time in seven seasons.
Monkhouse has played in each of Pools’ six consecutive campaigns in the third tier and the experienced wideman was frank in his assessment of the team’s current position.
“We can’t score goals and we concede goals – there’s only one place you’re going if that’s the case and that’s probably down,” the 32-year-old told SportMail today with Pools bottom of the table and eight points from safety.
“I can’t remember the last time we had a striker who scored 15 to 20 goals a season.
“I don’t know the reason why we haven’t signed a centre-forward. l TURN to Page 38
“Since I’ve been here I can remember Richie Barker, Joel Porter and maybe Roy O’Donovan, who came in on loan and scored about 10 goals to keep us up a couple of years ago.
“We haven’t brought anybody in and the strikers who are here, including myself, haven’t played well and haven’t scored enough goals.
“You’re going to be at the bottom of the table if that’s the case.”
Few could argue with Monkhouse’s words.
Indeed, Pools’ top marksmen this term – Jon Franks and James Poole – have just four apiece.
And Monkhouse believes yesterday’s reverse against Stevenage was indicative of their entire campaign.
“That whole game sums up our season,” he said, Pools having shaded the openings until Max Ehmer’s 76th-minute winner.
“We played well in parts, other parts not so well.
“We had a few chances but just couldn’t score and it was a bad goal to concede.
“If you could take 90 minutes to show what we’ve been like all season then this would be it.”