JONATHAN Franks will tonight come up against the club who deemed him surplus to requirements – and the winger admits he has a point to prove.
It was only in May that the 22-year-old was told by Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray that he did not have a future at the Riverside Stadium.
Franks, though, believes he wasn’t given a fair chance under the former Boro favourite.
And that is why this evening’s visit of the Teessiders (kick off 7.30pm) brings with it added motivation for the Stockton-born star.
“There will be a point to prove tonight because I feel as though I never really had a chance under Tony Mowbray,” Franks said.
“It was disappointing but he had his own way of playing and I had to look elsewhere because of that.
“That is nothing against him, because if circumstances were different then I might have had more of a chance.
“But he was good to me because he said some nice words to me and I appreciated that, it gave me confidence coming here to Hartlepool.”
Franks left his boyhood club having appeared 30 times in their colours and, at one point under Gordan Strachan, was a firm fixture in the first-team set-up.
But the arrival of Mowbray coupled with some untimely injuries saw the former England youth international loaned out to Yeovil Town last season before his release at the end of the campaign.
And Franks added: “It will be a bit weird playing against them because I only left a couple of months ago and obviously know all of the lads there.
“I only look back with happy memories of my time there.
“When I was playing under Gordon Strachan I was loving every minute of it because it was for the team I supported as a boy.
“I then had a couple of injuries and found myself out of the picture and went out on loan.
“But that was great for me.
“I didn’t want last season to finish come the end because I was just getting back into the swing of things.
“I’m at the age where I want to be playing every week and that is why I’ve come to Hartlepool.”
SEE Tuesday’s Hartlepool Mail for full story