Hackett says Cobblers players raring to go for Barnet finale

NO NEED TO REST - Chris Hackett says the Cobblers should play a full-strength team against Barnet at Sixfields on Saturday
NO NEED TO REST - Chris Hackett says the Cobblers should play a full-strength team against Barnet at Sixfields on Saturday
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Chris Hackett does not believe it would be worthwhile resting players for the final Cobblers game of the season to protect them for the play-offs.

Several members of the first-team squad sat out the game at Port Vale, with Kelvin Langmead (knee), Clive Platt (calf) and Joe Widdowson (knee) all left behind.

Adebayo Akinfenwa, who is struggling with a back problem, was an unused substitute, while Ishmel Demontagnac has also missed the past three games with a hamstring strain.

All five are likely to be fit for the final match of the season, against Barnet at Sixfields on Saturday, but there have been suggestions some of them will not play to keep them fresh for the play-offs.

Hackett is unsure such a policy would be effective, and said: “I think you can get injured whenever. You can get injured in training so it’s a hard one to call.

“You can be doing the lightest of drills and pick up an injury, so I don’t know. The manager has been in this situation before and he’ll know what to do best.

“Some players like to be in a rhythm and playing every week and some players like a rest so it really depends on individuals.

“A lot of the boys are nursing knocks because it’s at that stage of the season so he (Boothroyd) will be having a lot of conversations with the physio and taking it from there.”

The Cobblers will finish this season with the worst away record in npower League Two and will need to find some form on the road when the play-offs take place.

Hackett believes improvements have been made recently, and says their performance at Port Vale - where only a late own goal prevented a victory - has boosted their confidence.

“We’re quietly confident,” said Hackett.

“We were very pleased with our second-half performance in the Cheltenham game and we didn’t do too badly at Bradford.

“We’ve had quite a few games and we’re starting to build something in terms of that.

“Our away form hasn’t been as good as we’d like it to be but we’ve had some good performances.

“At Port Vale I thought we were a bit unlucky not to win the game and so we need to keep building on that.”