Brady launches strong defence of Hoskins after forward’s goal drought continues
‘I’m happy with Sam and I think his hard-work and his industry epitomises what this club is all about.’
Cobblers boss Jon Brady has launched a strong defence of Sam Hoskins after the forward’s goal drought continued against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
The 28-year-old, who is Northampton’s current longest-serving player after seven years at the club, has not scored since netting a penalty in the 3-1 win over Gillingham 16 games ago. His last league goal from open play came at Wigan Athletic in October.
But, top scorer for the Cobblers last season, he was a regular under previous manager Keith Curle and remains so now, starting nine of Brady’s 10 matches in charge.
Hoskins’ versatility has been one reason for his success. Under Curle, he played in both wing-back positions, central midfield, number 10 and up front. He even ended one game at centre-back.
He has mostly played in wide areas under Brady but was moved into a central position against Crewe on Saturday, although he could not end his barren run as Cobblers laboured to a disappointing home defeat.
Hoskins’ lack of goals has led to criticism from a section of supporters on social media with some believing that other players deserve a run in the side, but he has the full support of his manager.
“I’m not having it,” said Brady. “I think he’s a fantastic lad and he gives every single thing he’ got, he’s got a great engine and he will run all day for the team.
“People don’t see what the player does in training day-to-day. He’s played every position bar goalkeeper for this football club.
“That’s not under me because he’s played out wide or once up top and to be fair, out of everyone right now, he is our most natural finisher.
“Yes, the whole team needs to produce a little bit more quality in the final third – our top striker has only scored four goals. People go on about ‘you should play this one, you should play that one’ but the boys have had all season.
“We should score a lot more goals than we have done but do we have a real natural goalscorer? No, we haven’t. But we’re doing our best and we’ve changed it since we came in.
“There was that little period where we scored a third of our goals all season in about two weeks but we’ve just come off that plan a little bit at the moment so we need to get back on it.
“But I’m happy with Sam and I think his hard-work and his industry epitomises what this club is all about – people need to understand that.”
Brady also feels Hoskins needs more help from those around him in terms of the service into the forward players.
He added: “On Saturday, we looked at it and it was a case of thinking that with his pace and his energy, we could get him in behind, but not through route one football.
“There were certain ways we could have got him in and the one time we did free him up, he put in that really good cross for Mickel (Miller) and we feel it should have been a penalty.
“But our quality wasn’t good enough to get him in enough and that certainly wasn’t our gameplan.”