LUKE JAMES was back training with his Hartlepool United team-mates yesterday.

The striker was absent from the training ground on three occasions last week and was left out of the squad for the weekend win at Wimbledon.

Amid interest from Peterborough, and after submitting two transfer requests last week, the 19-year-old stayed away from the club, much to the disappointment of manager Colin Cooper.

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But he was back at Maiden Castle yesterday, Pools’ first day in training this week after bring granted Bank Holiday Monday off.

Cooper said: “It’s been a busy start t o the season and the players weren’t in on Monday.

“It’s been a hard start, the first three weeks have been long and we have all worked hard and tried to be honest.

“This result at Wimbledon starts our season off. They have worked hard throughout and need an extra rest day so we regrouped on Tuesday.’’ Pools will head off to Cheltenham on Friday for their game the following day, with the Pools boss set to sit down and talk with James this week to determine what happens next.

Pools have three loanees in their ranks, and one of them created both goals in the Wimbledon victory.

Ryan Brobbel impressed on the left wing as the temporary signing from Middlesbrough set up goals for Charlie Wyke and Marlon Harewood.

Cooper said: “Ryan is great, I like good footballers and he is one who works hard for his career.

“He can stay with me as long as he wants, he has that extra quality I like.

“It wasn’t a day for pretty football, but he put his body on the line and some of his deliveries were outstanding.

“He probably likes to be a bit more involved centrally, where he can more affect games.

“We have two signings made in Charlie Wyke and Scott Harrison last week, but we keep working and my phone is forever buzzing, despite what people may think.

“Again we rely on parent clubs for things to happen, but it’s not for the want in trying.

“But there’s no point in bringing players in if they are not going to improve your squad.’’