Cobblers forward Robinson wants to be centre of attention

Jake Robinson
Jake Robinson

As he is an Arsenal fan, it is perhaps no surprise to hear Jake Robinson compare his situation at the Cobblers to that of a man who plies his trade at the Emirates.

Robinson was given a rare chance to play as a centre-forward in the second half of last Saturday’s win over Aldershot and took it, converting a one-on-one to give Town an advantage that they eventually translated into a win that takes them within a point of the play-offs.

The 26-year-old is not a giant but is sharp and tidy on the ball, attributes that mean he is just as likely to find himself on the wing as he is down the middle.

Such an issue is not unlike the one troubling Theo Walcott, whose quest for central action is much more publicised than Robinson’s but equally relevant.

The manager who promised Robinson a central role (Gary Johnson) is long gone, but when asked if Saturday’s evidence was the best the player could give to the current boss of his worth, there was little doubting the player’s certainty.

“I think it is,” he said. “That’s my preferred role, I like to get in behind defences.

“There’s a lot of talk in the papers at the moment about Theo Walcott and whether he’s better as a striker or as a winger.

“I want to be playing and if the gaffer thinks I’m better as a winger then I’ll play out wide.

“But I do love playing up front. I’ve said that to you before and I’ve said it to the staff here.

“It was fantastic to get a chance to play there on Saturday and to get a one-on-one chance after five minutes was perfect for me.”

Robinson perhaps should have scored twice.

With Adebayo Akinfenwa suspended and stand-in penalty taker Ishmel Demontagnac having been withdrawn, he was on penalty duty and thought he should have had a crack from 12 yards when his shot struck Aaron Morris’ arm.

“I thought it was a handball,” he said. “It was hit from quite close to him and I was probably the only person in the stadium who thought the shot would go in. You see them given, but unfortunately that one wasn’t.”

But Robinson is nothing if not patient, a trait he has had plenty of time to practice during his time at Northampton. If the wing is where the manager wants him, it is on the wing he will play, and from where he will look to influence the game as best as possible.

“The goals are coming for me when I come into games from the bench,” he said.

“If he wants to keep using me like that and he thinks that’s the way that I’m going to be the most effective then that’s fine, but every footballer wants to be starting.

“You want to be in the team week in and week out.”

Robinson will be hoping he is given another chance to show what he can do when the Cobblers travel to leaders Gillingham on Saturday.