Luke James aiming to join his goal-scoring team-mates at Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United's Luke James  celebrates with Nathan Thomas
Hartlepool United's Luke James celebrates with Nathan Thomas

Luke James celebrated like any true Poolie when Lewis Hawkins and Nathan Thomas opened their Hartlepool United accounts.

And the striker is looking to join them on the goal standard this Saturday in the League Two six-pointer against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Goals are what it’s all about and the more shots, headers I have the more chance I have to score. I am hoping it’s just around the corner

Luke James

The 21-year-old has, of course, found the net loads of times for Pools and his goals-per-game ratio is a very fair one.

However, he has yet to notch since returning to the club last month on a half-season loan from Peterborough United.

While James has performed well up front and shown signs of the ‘old Luke’ he wants to contribute with what he used to do best - score goals.

The pacy frontman had two efforts on Saturday in the 3-1 win at Barnet where he was denied by keeper Jamie Stephens after being played through by Thomas while he had a second-half shot blocked by a defender.

“Goals are what it’s all about and the more shots, headers I have the more chance I have to score,” James told SportMail.

“I am hoping it’s just around the corner.

“It always takes a few games to get yourself going again and getting up to match fitness.

“I am getting back into it and just waiting for that first goal and hopefully they will all start coming after that.”

It has not been easy for James.

He spent the first half of the season on loan at Bradford City in League One.

James was invariably in Phil Parkinson’s match-day 18 but only made four starts with various sub appearances.

Inconsistent selection and brief cameos have not helped a player who has found goals hard to come by since his big-money move from Pools to Peterborough in 2014.

“When you are taken in and out of the team it is hard to get into a rhythm,” he explained.

“It’s not easy when you might play, miss a couple of weeks, come back in for one, then miss the next.

“The more you play the better it is all round.

“Hopefully I can start scoring and help the team, that’s what it’s all about.”

James has been used in a slightly different role by Hignett, playing a little wider of striker Billy Paynter than he’d ideally like to be.

But the player is not complaining and, as you would suspect, is giving his all for the cause.

“It’s a lot different from what I’ve been used to,” he said.

“I’m enjoying it, trying to get past my man, get a few deliveries in or cut inside.

“I don’t mind it, I’m getting used to it.”