The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By An­drew Law­ton

TOM POPE and James Vaughan are stand­ing in his way at Bury, but Hal­lam Hope is con­fi­dent he can force his way into boss David Fl­itcroft’s plans af­ter de­liv­er­ing goals.

The 22-year-old started his ca­reer at Ever­ton and joined Bury per­ma­nently af­ter en­joy­ing a pur­ple patch with the Shak­ers – five goals in eight games – while on loan in 2014.

At the time of his per­ma­nent sign­ing in last year’s Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow, Fl­itcroft de­scribed Hope’s po­ten­tial as ‘fright­en­ing’, but the move did not work out as planned.

How­ever, af­ter go­ing on loan at Carlisle last sea­son, Hope re­turned re-en­er­gised and cap­i­talised on Vaughan’s sus­pen­sion by net­ting a dou­ble in the 2-1 vic­tory over Swin­don.

And Hope is in­tent on mak­ing sure the PopeVaughan part­ner­ship up front is not an ob­vi­ous choice.

“I went to Carlisle to play more games and score goals, and I did that,” Hope ex­plained. “I feel like I have come back a bet­ter player.

“I’m ready to go. Last sea­son, I had quite a few in­juries and I was never re­ally 100 per cent fit. I knew that my­self.

“Now I feel good, feel strong, feel fit. I’m play­ing more in my nat­u­ral po­si­tion, which is striker, and I’m en­joy­ing it.”

UP­BEAT: Hal­lam Hope

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