Cobblers manager Keith Curle is remaining tight-lipped on whether or not he intends to hand out a new contract to in-form midfielder Sam Foley, whose current deal runs out at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old joined Northampton from Port Vale 18 months ago but he made just 18 starts in a stop-start, injury-affected first season for the club, however he’s enjoying a much better campaign this time around.
He’s given himself an opportunity to stake his case for a new contract and when we get to the end of the season we’ll have the conversion with him.
A regular for Curle, he’s already made 11 more starts this term – 32 appearances in all – and his consistent performances in central midfield have some arguing he should be in the frame to win the club’s Player of the Year award.
But, only just back from five weeks out with a back injury, Foley’s future beyond the end of the season remains up in the air, and following another good showing during Saturday’s goalless draw with Grimsby Town, Curle was giving little away.
“Sam’s a player that has come back into the team recently and he’s regaining his fitness levels and regaining his form,” said the Town boss.
“He’s given himself an opportunity to stake his case for a new contract and we get to the end of the season we’ll have the conversion with him.
“Likewise, he’s still very much in the shop window. If a contract can’t be agreed here, then he’s doing what he needs to do to give himself the best opportunity to get a contract elsewhere.”
Foley’s burgeoning partnership with defender-turned-midfielder Jordan Turnbull has been a key part of Northampton’s recent improved form, and they were again impressive on Saturday when their industrious, hard-working performances in midfield helped the Cobblers keep a fourth clean sheet in six games at Blundell Park.
“The clean sheet was pleasing and Jordan and Sam gave us the backbone of the team and again I thought we were solid,” Curle added.
“Jordan did what he needed to do. He was in the right areas, it was more of a case of him plugging holes and filling gaps and as the game wore on, I thought his use of the ball became better and better.
“We knew we’d be able get good advantage of the ball and use the ball in the full-back areas. First-half we didn’t do it early enough well enough but we did it better in the second-half.”