NEALE Cooper has revealed that he has spoken to forgotten man Nathan Luscombe about working harder for a first-team chance at Victoria Park, writes CRAIG HOPE.
The 22-year-old has not been seen in a Pools shirt since the home defeat to Scunthorpe United on January 2 – Cooper’s first game at the helm – during which he was substituted on the hour mark.
Since then the former Sunderland trainee has had to make do with sporadic reserve-team outings and he hasn’t even made the senior substitutes bench in recent months.
And Cooper told SportMail: “Nathan has to do a lot better than he’s done.
“He was given an opportunity – not that you just get one – but all round I think he has to do better.
“He’s got potential but he has to work harder at his game to be pushing to get in the team – he knows that and I’ve spoken to him about it.”
Luscombe had made such a promising start to his Pools career, despite reporting for pre-season training overweight in July.
He was, though, one of the stars of the summer friendly matches and made a telling impact from the bench during the early part of the season, scoring in the 2-0 win over Exeter City in September.
But questions over his fitness remained and his appearance under former manager Mick Wadsworth became increasingly fleeting.
He has one year remaining on his Pools contract but Cooper will be expecting to see a lean and motivated Luscombe by the time the senior squad reconvene at Maiden Castle in July.