Ben Tozer’s adaptability is something Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd hopes to replicate in the attacking players he brings to the club this summer.
Tozer, who played more minutes for Northampton last season than any other player, this week committed to a new two-year deal at a club for whom he is now the longest-serving player despite being just 23.
He finished last season as a right-back but had spells in central midfield, at centre-back and even on the left side of defence, a flexibility that led to comparisons from his manager with legendary Leeds United utility man Paul Madeley.
Such an ability is something Boothroyd now wants to implement at the other end of the pitch; Roy O’Donovan was brought in as a player who can operate as a traditional centre-forward, second striker or on either wing, and a similar player is top of the manager’s shopping list this month.
“Ben Tozer’s greatest strength is that he can play in a lot of positions and in this day and age it is great to have someone in your squad who can do that,” he said.
“To have someone that can play a number of positions is vital and Lee Collins is similar to that.
“In the winter, when you’re away from home on a dark Tuesday night and you’ve got a few injuries, you know you’ve got a player there who can go in and do a job and it doesn’t weaken you.
“That’s the type of players I’m looking for at the other end of the pitch, players like Roy O’Donovan and Alex Nicholls who can play a number of positions across the front.
“They give us that flexibility that we need with a smaller squad. That adaptability is what I’m after, and getting the best players I can for the money I’ve got to spend.
“It’s always about quality rather than quantity.”