Cobblers boss Edinburgh hopeful defender Diamond will be fit to face Port Vale

Zander Diamond receives treatment at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday
Zander Diamond receives treatment at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh is confident central defender Zander Diamond will be fit enough to start Tuesday night’s Sky Bet League One clash with Port Vale at Sixfields.

The Scotsman was taken off in the 77th minute of Saturday’s 1-0 win at AFC Wimbledon, with the manager stating he was suffering from ‘fatigue’ and that a few muscles had ‘tightened up’, but he is confident he will be okay for the Vale date.

Edinburgh also revealed that midfielder John-Joe O’Toole is nursing a few aches and strains, and that Gaby Zakuani is facing a fight to play again this season after suffering a hamstring strain in the recent win over Charlton.

“We have one or two knocks and bumps at the moment,” said the Cobblers boss.

“Zander has been assessed and was in on Sunday, so we are hopeful he will be fit.

“John-Joe didn’t do a lot of training last week, but he came through Saturday’s game okay, so we have some players that need some TLC today and again tomorrow, but I am hopeful everybody will be okay for Tuesday.”

And on the fitness of Zakuani, Edinburgh said: “Obviously Gaby is long-term now, unfortunately.

“The scan he had last week confirmed that, and I think Gaby’s aim now is, if possible, to try and get himself fit before the end of the season, and hopefully we can get a game or two out of him.”

The Cobblers will be aiming to claim their third straight win against the Valiants, who themselves were boosted on Saturday as they secured their first win of 2017, beating Swindon Town 3-2 at Vale Park.

Former Town loan man JJ Hooper was the main man for Vale in that game, scoring twice to secure the club’s first three-point haul since December 30, the second goal a brilliant 25-yard free-kick.

Vale remain in the bottom four despite that victory, and are eight points behind the Cobblers, but they do have three games in hand.