Aidy Boothroyd admits he may have made a mistake by not selecting Roy O’Donovan more when the two were together at Coventry City.
And Boothroyd thinks had he put the Irish striker in more of his Sky Blues squads, then he may have extended his career at the Ricoh Arena.
O’Donovan scored the third goal of his Cobblers career in the 1-0 win over Torquay United on Good Friday night, an intelligent glancing header to settle the contest.
It capped a good night for the striker, whose movement caused problems for the visiting defence throughout the game and whose class ultimately proved the difference between the sides.
Boothroyd signed O’Donovan during the summer of 2010 on a three-year deal but he only made 17 appearances for the club before having his contract terminated in January.
At that point he joined the Cobblers and is becoming a key player for a club who will be without Alex Nicholls for the remainder of the season with a broken leg.
“All of our front players are a real handful and Roy is like a wasp, he doesn’t give the defenders a moment’s peace,” he said.
“He puts players under pressure and because of that we get ourselves chances. I think he’s brilliant.
“When you’ve been a manager for a period of time you look back on things and I’m pretty sure that I should have played Roy O’Donovan a little bit more all those years ago at Coventry.
“If I’d done that I might have stayed a little bit longer, so that’s a lesson for me. He’s honest, his work rate his outstanding and he’s a good finisher.
“The header he scored on Friday night was a great header.”
Boothroyd was also indebted, in the victory over Torquay, to the performance of his goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
The on-loan Wigan stopper landed what was a fifth clean sheet in the past seven games but had to work for it, making a late stop to preserve both that achievement and the three points.
“Lee Nicholls made a great save at the end and they are the sort of things you need when someone has made a mistake somewhere,” he said.
“They’re the sort of thing you need to get you the three points and get you into winning positions.”