HARTLEPOOL United’s dangermen James Poole and match winner Jonathan Franks have been praised by their delighted manager, writes Richard Mennear.
Poole, in particular, was unplayable at times against Morecambe at the Globe Arena yesterday afternoon, while Franks again worked tirelessly for the team and got his rewards in the final seconds with the winning goal.
Pools manager Colin Cooper said he knew what his team was going to be as soon as Andy Monkhouse, missing through a one-match suspension, was sent off against Chesterfield on Boxing Day.
The front four of Luke James, James Poole, Nialle Rodney and Jonathan Franks spent time working with Cooper and assistant Craig Hignett in the build up to the match and the gaffer said he was delighted with the way they executed the plans.
Cooper said: “Franksie works his socks off for the team and I have known him since he was 14 or 15.
“All I said is we need to give him something different to think about from time to time so we did a little bit of work before the match.
“There isn’t much you can do before the games at this time of year, it is mainly about rest and recovery, but because Andy [Monkhouse] was sent off I knew what I wanted to do with regards that front four around their movement, getting in behind and getting beyond Morecambe and a lot of that came to fruition.
“I though Jonathan [Franks] gave Robbie Threlfall a pretty rotten afternoon and if he had scored the first one when he hit the bar he’d have been getting huge pats on the back.
“But to be in the right area and to finish the second one as he did was very good.
“Overall, it was a very good afternoon from Jonathan.”
Cooper meanwhile, agreed that at times during the 90 minutes, Poole looked unplayable.
The 46-year-old said: “We did a little bit of work around James’ movement because sometimes playing in that little pocket position you sometimes feel as though the only place you receive the ball is down the middle of the pitch.
“We knew they played with three in the centre of midfield and we knew he had to pull off into little angles, inside right, inside left.
“But when he picked it up he looked a real threat.
“He was running beyond, dribbling beyond and creating things and getting shots off himself.
“I thought he was outstanding.”