O’Donovan believes he’s now showing his true colours for Northampton Town

ALL SMILES - Roy O'Donovan celebrates scoring his goal against Barnet last weekend
ALL SMILES - Roy O'Donovan celebrates scoring his goal against Barnet last weekend
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As someone who has recently acquired a very useful knack of scoring important goals, it is no surprise to hear Roy O’Donovan talking about himself as a player who has now found his feet.

Life in Northampton colours was immediately difficult for the Irish striker – his first action was a half-time introduction at Rotherham with the side already a goal down.

And although things began to improve fairly rapidly, with a special goal setting the team on their way to a win at Southend a fortnight later, it was clear the player was not operating at full fitness.

But, having had a solid run of games, O’Donovan is starting to show his true quality.

His goal against Torquay was a result of a great leap and copybook heading, the one at Port Vale was spectacular and the opener against Barnet last week illustrated a temperament that was glacier-cool.

And so it is O’Donovan who will be looked upon to be the main provider in terms of the scoresheet in the play-off matches against Cheltenham Town, the first leg of which takes place at Sixfields tonight (Thurs, ko 7.45pm).

“I feel like I’ve only really got match fit in the past few games,” he said.

“I’ve been playing catch-up since I’ve been here really.

“It’s going well. I’m playing games and I’m getting chances. I think the more you play the more likely you will be to score and it’s going well for me at the moment.

“But you’re only as good as your last game. It’s a real test for us now against a big, strong outfit.”

Cheltenham proved they are both big and strong in the 1-0 win over Northampton just over a month ago.

The game was no slug fest, but there was a feeling among the Cobblers squad that they had been beaten at their own game by the Robins, who scored from a quickly-taken throw-in through powerful central defender Steve Elliott.

Town rallied in the second half and came up short.

“They beat us fair and square last time we played them so we know it’s going to be another tough game,” he said.

“It will be a game between two evenly-matched sides and we’re looking forward to it.

“It’s a big deal to this club to be involved in the play-offs.

“The manager is very ambitious and he doesn’t want to be hanging around league two for too long.

“Every player at the club is ambitious and this is a great opportunity for us to get to Wembley and get promoted, if we play to our potential.”

Having left a league one club in Coventry City to sign for the Cobblers, it goes without saying that O’Donovan wants to return to that level as quickly as possible.

It’s a philosophy shared by the manager and one communicated to him on his very first day at Sixfields.

“Aidy wouldn’t have expected or accepted anything else,” he said.

“When I first came here we were just outside the play-offs but we weren’t far away.

“It’s been a fairly good finish to the season and we need to maintain it.”