Hartlepool United boss Neale Cooper hails James Brown as ‘in a different class’

Hartlepool United goal scorers James Brown and Luke James enjoy the moment after victory over Rochdale. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United goal scorers James Brown and Luke James enjoy the moment after victory over Rochdale. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper wouldn’t be the first manager to talk of a James Brown renaissance – but the new boss has been encouraged by his former starlet.

The 25-year-old scored his first goal in over a year during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Rochdale, heading Pools into a home lead for the first time in 15 hours.

Brown has again been dogged by minor injuries this season but has now been back in full training for over a month and has featured in each of the matches since Cooper’s return.

The Scot – who was in charge of Pools as the striker was making his way through the youth ranks – is well aware of what a “fully functioning” Brown could bring to his side, but he admits there’s still work to be done.

“James came on at the weekend and showed something and had the desire to get that goal,” he told SportMail today.

Read more on Cooper’s thoughts, plus all the build-up to the weekend’s trip to Exeter, in today and tomorrow’s Sportmail.