Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor praises Luke James following FA Cup win at Yeovil Town and admits he tried to sign him for AFC Fylde

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor hailed the importance of Luke James to his side following a man of the match display in Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over Yeovil Town.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 1:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:03 pm
Dave Challinor urges his players on during the FA Cup match between Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United at Huish Park, Yeovil on Tuesday 12th November 2019. (Credit: Gareth Williams) ©MI News

James grabbed a goal and an assist as Pools came from behind at Huish Park to confirm their place in the second round of the FA Cup.

Challinor opted to name an unchanged line-up for his first match in charge and was largely very impressed with what he saw from his side, but was keen to pick out James as a key performer.

And the former AFC Fylde manager revealed he’s been a long time admirer of the 25-year-old.

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“He was excellent,” Challinor admitted.

“I tried to sign Luke a couple of years ago before he came here. I watched him have a loan spell at Barrow from Forrest Green where he at times, for a smallish lad, led the line unbelievably well and caused absolute havoc for central defenders and I know he can do that.

“Luke is one who has been put out on the left or right hand side and we tweaked things a little bit after 10-minutes or so.

“We went to a three which meant he could get a little bit closer to Nicke [Kabamba] up the top end of the pitch and we wanted those two to play on the outside shoulders.

“Getting three of our strikers scoring is massive because those are the players where they’re going to be judged on their goals regardless of how good their link-up play or work off the ball is.

“The goals will help Luke and build his self belief and his confidence but he’s a nuisance and a pest without being disrespectful to him.

“He works his socks off and we’d spoken about how that’s something we can control as a group.

“Regardless of outcomes, we want to enjoy games and we’ll enjoy winning but we can’t control winning matches but we can control the aspects that give us the best chance of winning.

“Running around, competing and working hard for 90 odd minutes is one of those things and he epitomises that in every aspect.”