New role to perk up Monky

Andy Monkhouse closes down a Watford player. Picture by FRANK REID.
Andy Monkhouse closes down a Watford player. Picture by FRANK REID.

MICK Wadsworth admits that he deployed Andy Monkhouse as a lone frontman during the midweek draw at Bristol Rovers in an attempt to revive the midfielder’s dip in form.

The 30-year-old has been a virtual ever-present for Pools this term and has developed a sound understanding with left-flank comrade Evan Horwood.

But, after finding the net three times from the opening 10 games of the season, Monkhouse’s goals have dried up of late and with that has come an apparent drop in confidence.

As a result, Wadsworth spoke with the former Rotherham winger this week and floated the idea of a change of position.

And so, for the trip to the West Country, Monkhouse (right) took on the centre-forward role.

The response was encouraging and, despite only once threatening the Rovers target with a cute 20-yard chip, the Leeds-born star worked tirelessly for the team.

And Wadsworth told SportMail today: “I spoke to Andy earlier in the week and I felt he needed something different to think about.

“Andy would say himself that he hasn’t been playing as well as he did earlier in the season.

“He’s been an ever-present nearly and has missed very few minutes on the pitch.

“His combination play with Evan Horwood has been a huge part of our attacking play. It got us that great goal down at Huddersfield and that can win a game for you.

“But I had a chat with him and we felt we needed to change something and he was more than happy to play up front and wanted to play up there.”

He added: “He gave us a target because he is good in the air.

“He had a couple of good shots during the first half and on another day they might have went in.

“It just hasn’t happened for him recently. But he knows that and is working his socks off for the team and that’s very important.

“In time it’ll come for him because his attitude has been spot on.”