Hartlepool Utd star happy for goal pressure ahead of Doncaster Rovers trip

Jonathan Franks turns away after going close against Crewe. Picture by FRANK REID
Jonathan Franks turns away after going close against Crewe. Picture by FRANK REID

JONATHAN Franks is happy to heap pressure on his own shoulders.

The 22-year-old told SportMail just last month that his goals return had to improve.

Franks has responded to his personal demands, scoring two from two during this week’s wins over Scunthorpe United and Crewe Alexandra.

But the winger-cum-forward isn’t stopping there.

“It’s four for me this season now, I’m top scorer,” said the player who had endured a five-month goal drought before his solo strike at Glanford Park last weekend.

“I should have had a lot more really and I know that.

“But I’ve been saying to the physios that once I score one I’ll be getting a few more and will go on a run – so the pressure is on.”

That, though, is an expectation Franks is willing to take on, just as his team-mates have embraced their fight against relegation.

“There’s a determination, togetherness and belief amongst us and we want to go out and do a job,” said Franks,

“Earlier in the season we didn’t look like scoring and, at the other end, looked like conceding.

“It’s a different story now, we’re solid at the back and being positive in the final third.

“Every player is enjoying their game now and we are positive with a determination to go out there and do it for each other.”

Franks is one player whose own form has been transformed during a turnaround which has included five wins from seven matches.

The former Middlesbrough trainee is now operating in a central role behind main striker Charlie Wyke.

And it is a position in which he is revelling.

“I’m playing a different role, the gaffer has given me and James (Poole) a licence to play further up the pitch and come inside all of the time instead of being stuck out wide,” he explained.

“I want to get involved more and that position helps our full-backs push on out wide as well.

“Before it was 4-4-2 and that was it really. We wanted balls into the box for Stevie (Howard) but we tended to go behind and ended up chasing the games.

“Now the lads want to play a bit more football, we aren’t stuck in one position.”