Hartlepool Utd boss believes Luke James can hit 20 goals this season

Luke James celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game against Northampton Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game against Northampton Town. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper believes Luke James will be targeting 20 goals for the season now after the teenage striker reached double figures for the first time.

Cooper was pleased with his side’s performance in the 2-0 Sky Bet League Two win over Northampton Town and said it wouldn’t have flattered Pools if the score line was three or four nil.

The win was achieved courtesy of goals from James – his 10th of the season – and a Simon Walton penalty.

Their 46-year-old gaffer was once again delighted with his in-form strikers contribution.

James pulled off the shoulder of the Northampton defender before controlling an exquisite Matty Dolan long ball with his left foot and then smashing it low past Matt Duke with his right boot.

Cooper said: “Luke is getting the rewards for what he is learning.

“The ball from Matty is perfect, Luke pulled off the back shoulder of the defender and that is something that we have talked about.

“Matty flights the ball into him, Luke takes a smashing first touch and the second touch is a lovely finish.

“Double figures and we are still in November.

“If I’m Luke James then I’m thinking I can get 20 goals this season and I know deep down, as humble as he is, I’m sure that is what he wants.

“To get to double figures now is a good return and hopefully he can kick on and get a few more because if he does than we will all be benefiting.”

Cooper was pleased with the way Pools went about their business on Saturday against Aidy Boothroyd’s Cobblers.

The former Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest defender said: “Aidy’s teams are very hard working, try and put you under pressure physically and mentally to test your resolve to see if you can stand up to the pressure.

“On the whole, we dealt with it but let’s not forget they hit the post in the first few minutes.

“But after that we settled down and got our goal and dealt with it a lot better and went on and deservedly won the game.”