Cooper to leave Luke at home

First published in Hartlepool The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

LUKE James, Hartlepool United's teenage forward, could be left at home for Friday's trip to Colchester.

The 17-year-old missed seven games with a back strain before returning to action against Sheffield United last weekend.

But, wary of spending up to six hours on the team coach tomorrow before returning to the North-East on Friday evening, Neale Cooper is wary of the possible problems.

Pools are at home to Brentford on Bank Holiday Monday and Cooper could hold James back for that one.

"We watch Luke a bit, he's come back from a while out and with games Friday and Monday it's something to think about," admitted Cooper.

"He gave us a bit of freshness last weekend and it's only natural he tired.

"The boys were pleased to get him back - and that's from Sam Collins and Paul Murray at the top end down over.

"Luke tired a wee bit later on, but that is expected.

"We weigh up Luke's situation. He has had a back problem and one which was brought on sitting coming back from Wycombe.

"Do we want him sitting on a bus for hours again with a game to come at home a couple,of days later?

"That's what I am talking to the physios about this week. Do we want him to travel or do we keep him nice and fresh for Monday? He's a pretty important player for us."

Pools will today announce their season ticket initiative for the 2012/13 campaign, and on the back of last summer's success, hope for a similar response after almost 6,000 were bought.

Fans will be back at Victoria Park on Monday and Cooper is happy with the weekend workload.

"It's good to play Friday with a game to come on Monday, it will help us," he said. "It's a long journey and a hard game.

"We have already planned in training on Saturday, possibly Easter Sunday off. We get back from Colchester late and feel it will be better to loosen off on Saturday after the journey back.

"Then it's a big game on Monday at home again."

Pools will again be without James Poole at the weekend, with the striker told to rest his thigh strain for at least a week.


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