Northampton Town: Boothroyd bids to start festive campaign with a bang

GETTING CLOSER - Luke Guttridge is almost fully fit for Cobblers duty after a broken metatarsal
GETTING CLOSER - Luke Guttridge is almost fully fit for Cobblers duty after a broken metatarsal
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Aidy Boothroyd will stress the importance of starting the festive schedule with a win when the Cobblers play host to Aldershot on Saturday (2pm ko).

Town face a Shots side who have been struggling at the wrong end of the table in the first of four games over a two-week period that also includes trips to Wimbledon and Gillingham and a home game against Dagenham & Redbridge.

And Boothroyd recognises how vital it will be to get points on the board before the games start to come thick and fast between Christmas and the New Year.

“It’s very important to start this run well,” he said. “We know from our experiences so far this season that we can beat anybody and we also know that we are capable of losing to anybody.

“The second half of the season is going to be about consistency and that means when you play teams at home you have to go all out to get a win.

“Aldershot have got the fifth best away record in the league and we know we’ll have to be careful. We’ll respect their strengths.

“I’ve had a good look at Aldershot and we’ll work out what they’re going to do and how we’re going to deal with that.”

Town will have two former Aldershot players available to them this weekend with Ben Harding and Anthony Charles both in the frame but another ex-Shot, Luke Guttridge, is still not fully fit after recovering from a broken metatarsal.

“We don’t want to rush Luke back because we want him to play 20 games, we don’t want him in for one and then to miss out again,” he said.

“He’s well ahead of where we thought he would be at this point but that’s credit to him for the hard work he has put in.”

Guttridge is in training now and the next player off the injured list to join him should be David Artell, with John Johnson to follow in the New Year.

Boothroyd will take a cautious approach with all three, and is wary of the fact he rushed Johnson back from a knee operation in October.

“David (Artell) might be a little bit before John but they are both looking at mid-January for when they come back,” he said.

“We brought John back too quickly, and that was partly my fault, so we have to be careful with him because he is a very important player to us.

“He has played every game since I’ve been here and in a variety of different positions so that just shows what I think of him.

“When he does come back he will make the squad stronger.”