LUKE JAMES was granted a rest on Saturday as Craig Hignett tries to look after his livewire attacker.

Pools beat Wrexham at the Super 6 Stadium with the front-runner starting on the bench and only appearing for the last 14 minutes.

The decision came after a busy spell for James, which included making his England C debut in a draw with Wales last week.

“Luke was rested,’’ admitted boss Craig Hignett. “Five games in two weeks it would have been and he doesn’t coast through games. We have threats up front and in the attacking unit.

“He’s been non-stop, playing for us, playing for England C and it’s not fair to ask him to play so much and resting him was the sensible call. It’s hard to get in the team now. Lose your place and you can be sat out for weeks.

“I can see it in training and see it every day. There’s a really good dressing room there.’’

Hignett has engineered a big improvement both individually and collectively of late, with only two defeats in ten outings.

He admitted: “The back four on Saturday were as solid as I’ve seen, and that was after losing Aaron with injury.

“The squad was strong, we had options and I trust them all. We play different systems and I can change and play 4-3-3, three at the back and we have a plan B, C, D if need be.

“I had a few different teams written down and we decided how to go at it. I picked a team to go and win the game.’’

Defender David Edgar was an unused substitute for Canada as they won 4-1 against French Guinea on Sunday.

Centre-half Aaron Cunningham will miss the rest of the season through injury picked up at the weekend.

“Aaron could be a medial ligament, four to six weeks and he’s been brilliant since he came in,’’ said Hignett. “We stick with him as he will be a top young defender.

“We have young players doing well in a man’s world. How many 19 year olds are playing man’s football like they are here. I don’t see other clubs and other players doing it.

“Aaron is a tough lad, he will know what to do and he will want to get back as quickly as possible.’’