James return is a boost

The Northern Echo: James return is a boost James return is a boost

NEALE Cooper hopes Luke James will be given the all-clear to play in the remaining six games of the season, after a positive return to action at the weekend.

NEALE Cooper hopes Luke James will be given the all-clear to play in the remaining six games of the season, after a positive return to action at the weekend.

The 17-year-old attacker has missed seven games with a back problem, brought on by growing pains, but returned to the side at the weekend.

He took up a spot on the right side of a three-man attack and showed plenty of his trademark effort and enthusiasm.

But he will discuss James’ development with his physios this week ahead of the trip to Colchester on Good Friday.

“We were excellent first-half and second-half we started brightly and it was good to have Luke back,’’ he admitted.

“We will see how he responds in the next couple of days. He was excellent and was just tired, he’s not trained for five weeks.

“He is like Sweens in his energy, but it does catch up when you have not played for so long.

“We go with the physios decisions as well, we didn’t decide until Friday and he was up for it – it’s up to Luke and the physios.

“His injury is not as bad as it was and we have missed him. For a young boy to come back and get a response from first-team players like he did was great.

“He’s only been in the team a matter of weeks, but he has the respect of the older pros. Him and Ryan Noble have that respect.’’

Cooper, without the suspended Peter Hartley on Friday, added: “It’s a big plus for Luke to be back and he’s a happy boy – he’s so pleased to be back and he took some knocks and showed some good touches.

“It was the best Evan (Horwood) has played for me, he didn’t get caught out when they attacked and looked good forward.

“His link up with Andy and won some important headers in there too. That’s not his forte, but he wasn’t afraid.

“Jack can come in next week for Peter, he has done well there, that’s his position.’’

 

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