Cobblers boss Boothroyd happy with defensive cover

Kelvin Langmead
Kelvin Langmead
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Cobblers manager Aidy Boothroyd is confident he has enough defensive options to cover the absence of Kelvin Langmead, who has undergone knee surgery.

The club captain went under the knife on Thursday to correct a problem picked up during the win over Oxford United last weekend and it expected to be out until ‘the back end of April’.

John Johnson, who picked up an injury in the Oxford game, has trained with the squad this week and will be fit to play the first of what are two games in four games, with a home match against Torquay on Good Friday followed by a trip to Cheltenham Town on Easter Monday.

Boothroyd also strengthened the defensive end of his squad this week with the addition of Nathan Cameron on loan from Coventry City and has been pleased with the form of his permanent players in recent weeks too.

“I know Nathan very well from working with him at Coventry,” said Boothroyd, who gave the player his league debut as a teenager. “He gives us some depth and that’s a nice problem to have.

“Nathan is brave, he’s very quick and he’s very strong. He is a player with a huge talent.

“What we’ve got there is a championship-standard player who is fighting to get a place in our side.”

That competition is likely to see the 21-year-old go up against Lee Collins, who excelled after replacing Langmead as a substitute in the Oxford game, for a place in the heart of the defence alongside the in-form Clarke Carlisle.

“I thought Lee did fantastically well on Saturday,” he said. “He gives us another option there and he also gives us the option of playing a four or a five.

“Clarke Carlisle is playing some fantastic football as well and he is in really good form for us.

“He doesn’t seem to be everybody’s cup of tea but he’s my cup of team because he’s a good character and he’s a winner.

“He inspires people around him and he seems to bring the best out of whoever he is playing alongside.”

Langmead has proved similarly inspirational this season but will be denied a chance to play the next few games after his knee surgery, although Boothroyd is confident he can cover the skipper’s absence.

“Kelvin will be back before the end of the season,” he said. “But we’re talking about the back end of April rather than in a week or two.

“He’s arguably been our best player this year, he was defending really well and he was scoring goals from centre-back, which is always pleasing.

“We shouldn’t miss him too much with the depth we’ve got and that is a huge compliment to the squad here.”