Franks fired up for goal rush to help Hartlepool United safety surge

Jonathan Franks in action for Hartlepool United against Burton Albion
Jonathan Franks in action for Hartlepool United against Burton Albion
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JONATHAN Franks is relishing his role up front for Hartlepool United – and admits he is desperate to add to his goal tally while Scott Fenwick is out injured.

The pair are vying to be the club’s leading goalscorer, Franks has six to his name – four of which have come in cup competitions – while Fenwick has five, all in the league.

Now I’m down the middle, I want to contribute and score more goals

Jonathan Franks

Former Dunston UTS star Fenwick is currently out with a knee problem and is likely to be missing at least the next fortnight.

Manager Ronnie Moore has turned to Franks to help fill the void, partnering on-loan Cambridge United striker Ryan Bird in the last two games.

Franks believes his best position is through the middle, rather than pushed wide, and he wants to take advantage of an extended run up front.

“There is, of course, a bit of competition to end as top scorer,” Franks said.

“Now I’m down the middle, I want to contribute and score more goals.

“The other night at Oxford, I had the shot which the keeper saved and Ryan was on hand to knock the ball in.

“As long as someone is scoring, that is the main thing but it would be great to end the season as top scorer.”

Hardworking Franks hasn’t scored since bagging a brace in the 3-2 win over Plymouth Argyle at the end of January but is confident he will soon be back on the goalscoring trail.

Franks believes playing alongside Bird is helping him and he wants the 27-year-old to extend his loan stay beyond the visit of Mansfield Town.

“I am enjoying my role up front,” added Franks.

“As long as I’m playing I am happy but I do enjoy playing down the middle.

“I have enjoyed it with Ryan as he does a lot of the running and we share the workload.

“We are singing off the same hymn sheet and it would be good for our partnership to continue. We have similar ideas and want to put the centre halves under pressure, hopefully he can extend his stay.”

Moore is expected to stick with Franks and Bird up front at Victoria Park, having praised the duo for their performance in the 2-0 win over Oxford United.

Another victory over Mansfield – who are expected to name former Pools loanee Rakish Bingham in the squad – would cap a successful week for a Pools side battling relegation.

“The next two are at home and if we could get maximum points that would be perfect,” added Franks.

“Rakish poses a big threat with his pace.

“He scored the other night and is a good player so we have to be wary of that.

“It is the same for every game though – every team has a threat we need to nullify and put the pressure on.”