Can James Poole keep up form for Hartlepool United at Sheffield United?

POOLE OF TALENT: James Poole in action against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID
POOLE OF TALENT: James Poole in action against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID
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JAMES Poole has returned to the Hartlepool United side with a bang – and boss Colin Cooper is looking to see the livewire forward continue his good form.

Poole will be one of the players the Pools boss will be looking towards for both threat and goals tonight in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Sheffield United (kick-off 7.45pm).

The 23-year-old played an advanced midfield role at Mansfield Town on Saturday when Pools took the Stags to the cleaners 4-1.

Poole carried on from where he left on in his sub’s appearance against Oxford United the previous Saturday.

He linked up well with his team-mates in the final third and capped his display by scoring a beauty 10 minutes from time.

“James turned off his back foot and then let rip, it was a great strike,” Cooper told SportMail.

“He had one go in the first half which was speculative to say the least, but to actually get the goal he did was a terrific strike.

“He’s carried it on from the Oxford game.

“I’ve seen what he can do but now he needs to deliver week-in week-out, though sometimes that’s hard for a forward.

“You expect peaks and troughs from forwards, but to progress you need more consistency.”

Cooper added: “Me and Craig spoke about trying to get another player in the middle of the field and someone like Pooley is ideal

“If we have a barrier in Simon Walton and Jack Baldwin like we did on Saturday, it gives James opportunity to get in those positions where he is very tricky and clever

But it is not only Poole who is showing his best form – Andy Monkhouse, Luke James and Jack Compton are all in great touch.

“I thought the front four put them to the sword,” said Cooper.