ANDY Monkhouse admits that the “feel-good factor” has been sadly absent from Hartlepool United in recent seasons, writes CRAIG HOPE.
Just two years ago, following a club record nine-match unbeaten start to the campaign, Pools were challenging at the top end of League One.
Four managers later and they are at the wrong end of League Two.
However, Monkhouse believes that the managerial team of Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett can revive the club’s fortunes.
The 32-year-old has fond memories of the last time Pools were in the bottom tier, and he is confident that good times could again be on the horizon.
“When I came to the club in 2006, we were sixth from bottom in League Two, but we went on a crazy run and got promoted,” he recalled.
“Hopefully this season will be something similar.
“I can remember going to the likes of Boston and Rochdale and filling out the away ends.
“The whole feel-good factor of football was there. It was brilliant.
“If I’m honest, the past couple of seasons it hasn’t been like that.
“But it can be again, and the lads believe that.
“The gaffer and Higgy have been different class with us and they’re a lot more organised than maybe previous regimes have been.
“We haven’t had the best of results so far, but we all feel there has been a big improvement and we will get there.”
Monkhouse won rave reviews last midweek following his performance in the 5-0 win over Bradford City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – a display which earned Pools the team of the round prize.
He was used as a centre-forward against the Bantams and was again deployed in attack during last Saturday’s 2-1 league defeat to Wycombe.
Earlier in the season, Monkhouse had started matches on the right-wing, but the player himself just wants to nail down one position, regardless of where that may be.
“I’ve said so many times that, wherever I play, I will give my best,” he said.
“The gaffer asked me to play on the right and cut in on my left, that’s great.
“I’ve also been used up front and I’ve done well there. I just want to get in a position now and make it my own.
“I’ve got to an age now where as long as the team is doing well I’m happy.”
Pools face a crucial home clash against Accrington Stanley, the only team below them, on Saturday. Defeat will leave Pools bottom.