Chairman Thomas says it’s ‘decision making time’ for Cobblers targets

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

Kelvin Thomas says it is ‘decision making time’ for the potential Cobblers players being targeted by boss Rob Page.

Page and Town head of recruitment Andy Melville have been quietly going about their business in the past few weeks, concentrating on trying to persuade the players they want to sign on at Sixfields.

You have to defer to Rob Page’s experience and judgement in league one. He has been there and done it, he knows what the league is about, and he knows we have players in the building that have the ability to compete

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

And chairman Thomas has admitted the time for talking is now almost up, and it’s now all about those players making their mind up and putting pen to paper.

“We are moving along and I know Andy and Rob have been talking to a lot of people,” said Thomas, when he was asked about recruitment.

“I think over the next 10 days, before the players come back for training next week, it will be decision making time for a few people.”

Page has been very relaxed about the recruitment side of things since he took over from Chris Wilder, even though he has seen key players from last season’s league two title success such as Danny Rose, Nicky Adams and Ricky Holmes depart for pastures new.

Indeed, just five of the starting line-up on the final day of last season at Portsmouth remain at the club, with Rose, Adams, Holmes, Josh Lelan and loan men Luke Prosser and John Marquis having all left.

Signings have been made in the shape of full-backs Aaron Phillips and Raheem Hanley, striker Alex Revell and goalkeeper David Cornell, but more are needed.

Thomas 100 per cent believes Page will get the players in that are required, and said: “It’s an interesting period for us, because one of the big things everybody said at the end of last season was ‘you have to keep this team and squad together’.

“Rob has looked at the squad and said he is very, very happy with the players he has got being able to compete in league one.

“Obviously we have lost Ricky Holmes which was a disappointment for all of us, because I enjoyed watching Ricky play. But I think it was a decision that was right for everybody.

“Apart from that, we haven’t lost anybody that we don’t feel we can improve on and replace.

“The early decisions were a little bit about backing up what we already have, and now we are getting into having to bring some players in, especially in the wide areas, that are going to kick on and be our stars next season.”

Referring to the relaxed mood behind the scenes at Sixfields, Thomas revealed that Page is simply somebody who goes about his business very differently to his predecessor Chris Wilder.

And he also admitted he is happy to bow to his manager’s knowledge of what it takes to survive and prosper at league one level.

“It has been good and I like the way that Andy and Rob are going about their business, going for targets, and making sure we are still in there,” said Thomas.

“There is no panic, there is no rush.

“Having worked with Chris previously, he was always one to get his work done early, and I think he did that last year.

“Rob is a little bit more comfortable and confident in the squad that is here already, and you have to defer to Rob’s experience and judgement in league one.

“He has been there and done it, he knows what the league is about, and he knows we have players in the building that have the ability to compete.”