Chris Wilder heaped praise on John Marquis’s “outstanding” performance during his second Northampton debut after the on-loan Millwall striker found the net in Cobblers’ 2-1 win over York City on Tuesday evening.
Marquis only signed for the club on Monday but less than 36 hours later he helped the team extend their lead at the top of Sky Bet League Two to 12 points as his goal plus James Collins’ first-half header saw off the lowly Minstermen.
“We talked about mixing the team up and we’ve done that tonight and I thought John was outstanding,” said Wilder afterwards.
“He slotted straight in with Collo and they’ll be disappointed not to score more because John’s had a couple of chances when he went through in the first half and Collo could have scored again.
“But John produced exactly what we wanted in terms of energy, aggression, posing a goal threat and scoring so he can be delighted with his second debut.
“Nicky Adams also came in, as did Lawson (D’Ath) and that’s what we need if we’re going to achieve this year.
“We need people ready to step in and games have come thick and fast and we’ve managed to yet again get another win on the road.”
Russell Penn’s late wonder strike made for a tighter final scoreline but in truth Cobblers were always a class above York and could have won by more.
Wilder added: “I thought it was a disappointing that the goal went in because we should have been out of sight.
“I thought we played really well, we were just a little bit disappointed that we didn’t take the game from two to three to four.
“It was a tough first 20 to 25 minutes which you understand when you come here.
“You have to see the fight out and as soon as we scored the first goal I thought we were in total control and Adam (Smith) hasn’t really had to do a lot apart from a few long balls that have come into the box late on.
“Really, the game should have been done and dusted by then.
“Our general play from back to front was really good and we looked a really good compact side tonight, We passed the ball in the right areas and we created, we just needed to be a little bit more clinical in the final third.
“If we had drawn this game we’d have been devastated. It was a great goal that came out of the blue but we just need to be that little bit more ruthless.”