Luscombe thrown lifeline

Luscombe: Given second chance

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Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper has given Nathan Luscombe another chance after he returned for pre-season overweight.

Luscombe did not travel with the squad to a training camp in Holland last week, with the 22-year-old put through a fitness boot camp in the North East instead.

He was a second half substitute in Wednesday night's 1-1 draw with Whitby Town and Cooper has challenged Luscombe to get back in his good books.

"I just want a reaction from him," said the Hartlepool manager following the game against the non-leaguers. "I had a good, long chat with Nathan in my office on Tuesday and then again said something to him in the dressing room last night.

"He knows I wasn't happy with him the way he came back after pre-season and he knew I was raging when he came back in that shape. I was absolutely raging and couldn't even speak to him, I was that angry.

"But he came on last night and he was that bright, creative spark for me."