Luke James discusses life under Dave Challinor and FA Cup third round draw against Oxford United as he eyes progress with Hartlepool United ahead of Exeter City replay

Luke James believes tonight’s FA Cup replay against Exeter City is the ‘perfect platform’ for Hartlepool United to bounce back from their recent National League disappointment at Woking.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:45 am
Luke James of Hartlepool United at the final whistle during the Vanarama National League match between Woking and Hartlepool United at the Kingfield Stadium, Woking on Saturday 7th December 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)
Luke James of Hartlepool United at the final whistle during the Vanarama National League match between Woking and Hartlepool United at the Kingfield Stadium, Woking on Saturday 7th December 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

United were beaten 2-1 in Surrey on Saturday but the quick turnaround of matches gives them an opportunity to make some form of amends against Football League opposition by progressing through to the third round of the FA cup for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

“Everyone is disappointed after Saturday but we won’t let that disappointment affect Tuesday’s game because if we go out and win on Tuesday then Saturday is quickly forgotten about,” James admitted.

“We’ve got back to the training ground on Monday looking to put things right.

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“I think the pressure is on Exeter, we want to win every game but they’re the Football League team so will be expected to win.

“We’ve proved that we’re a good team down there to come from 2-0 down and we were unlucky not to win it so we go into the game believing we can win.

“I’m enjoying working with the new manager, we’re scoring goals as a team and hopefully that will continue.”

The winners of tonight’s replay face a third round tie away to League One outfit Oxford United in the new year.

“Hopefully we see a good crowd that will help us through to the third round against Oxford away,” James added.

“They’re flying in League One and I’ve played there before. They’re a good team and I know a few of their lads as well.

“They’ve been scoring a lot of goals so if we win on Tuesday it’ll be another really tough game.

“It’s massive to bounce back now and this is the perfect platform to do that then we’re back up against National League opposition at Harrogate so that will be another important game for us.

“If you win the games then you gather momentum and winning is a habit and hopefully we can put Saturday’s game to bed at The Vic on Tuesday night and carry it on at Harrogate.”