Hartlepool United’s Colin Cooper and Luke James win manager and player of the month

TROPHY SUCCESS: Colin Cooper and Luke James with their awards and H'Angus the Monkey
TROPHY SUCCESS: Colin Cooper and Luke James with their awards and H'Angus the Monkey

HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper and teenage sensation Luke James have been named player and manager of the month for October.

The pair have won the prestigious awards for Sky Bet League Two after a stunning month for Cooper’s side with Pools winning four out of five league matches.

Luke James and manager Colin Cooper

Luke James and manager Colin Cooper

As a result of their impressive form and 12-point haul, the 46-year-old gaffer and seven-goal top scorer striker have been named manager and player of the month respectively.

Cooper, 46, beat off stiff competition from James Beattie, of Accrington Stanley, Wayne Burnett, of Dagenham & Redbridge and Gary Rowett, of Burton Albion.

Former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel and he said: “Four wins from five matches in October marked a great month for Colin Cooper and lifted Hartlepool well up the table.

“Impressive wins on the road ensure his team is one to watch for the remainder of the season.”

Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Colin Cooper praised his players’ commitment after his team rose from 22nd to 13th.

“He deserves to take a massive amount of the credit.”

Meanwhile, 18-year-old James, who has scored seven goals in 18 appearances for Pools including three during the month of October, held off Exeter City utility man Aaron Davies, Dagenham & Redbridge striker Rhys Murphy and Portsmouth defender, Bondz N’Gala to win player of the month.

Colin Cooper said: “I think the award is a great reward for Luke and the hard work he has put in since the start of the season.

“He’s been a joy to work with, is always keen to listen and learn, and it was lovely to see him score some important goals and play with a big smile on his face.

“Assistant manager Craig Hignett has to take some credit because he’s a put a lot of work in.

“But Luke’s attitude to his football is fantastic.”

Goodman added: “At the tender age of 18 Luke is flying for Hartlepool - providing opportunities for his team-mates as well as scoring goals.”

Sky Bet Head of Football Paul Wiggins said: “A great month for Hartlepool has been driven by the performances of striker Luke James.

“He was in devastating form at Exeter. He also bagged the winner in the narrow victory over to 13th in Sky Bet League 2.”