IN-FORM Luke James scored his 10th goal of the season in the convincing 2-0 win over Northampton Town and revealed he had smashed his own secret pre-Christmas target, writes RICHARD MENNEAR.
In the summer, the striker sat down with his Dad, off-shore worker Ian, and the pair set the youngster the aim of getting into double figures before December 25.
Now that has been achieved with four weeks to spare, the 18-year-old will be looking to set himself a new target with the help of his old man.
Amble-born James reached the landmark figure for the first time when he scored the opening goal in the 2-0 win over the Cobblers at Victoria Park.
The teenager took control of a delightful defence-splitting 35-yard pass from Matty Dolan, before taking a touch and firing it low past Matt Duke.
It is the first time since the 2009-10 season that a Pools player has made it into double figures, versatile Andy Monkhouse was the last man, scoring 11 goals that campaign but you have to go back to the 2008-09 season for the last striker to achieve the feat – Joel Porter bagging 18.
A proud James said: “Me and my Dad sat down before the start of the season to talk about my targets.
“He said 10 would be a good target to set myself and I have managed to achieve that now.
“We will have another sit down when he gets back from work and see what he thinks should be the next one.
“We find a middle ground when it comes to targets, obviously, he likes to set his targets high and so do I because I want to be the best player I can possibly be, but there is finding a balance between too high and too low.
“He normally has a good say though.
“My dad loves his football but works off-shore and is away for two weeks at a time, so he obviously can’t make those games but when he is back he tries to make as many games, home and away as he can.”
The 18-year-old joked his dad is always checking his phone at work to see how he is getting on but said the pair would also be keeping their next goal target a secret.
Despite his goal scoring feats, James isn’t expecting a present from his dad though, “He will probably just say I “told you so,” added James.
The teenager was delighted with his 23rd minute strike on Saturday, adding: “I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t of scored because Matty couldn’t have hit a better pass.
“I thought I had messed it up with my first touch but I thought “I’m just going to hit it” and luckily I managed to catch the keeper off guard.”
The Sky Bet League Two October player of the month said it was vital Pools bounced back quickly after the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Newport County in the last league game.
The Cobblers hit the post in the first few minutes but after that Colin Cooper’s side were comfortable and worthy winners.
James said: “It was very important to hit back straight away and we didn’t want to get beat three games in a row.”