Clough believes Cobblers’ loss is Burton’s gain as O’Toole signs for Brewers

Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough
Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough

Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough believes the signing of Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O’Toole on a free transfer will improve his team ‘in both penalty areas’.

O’Toole opted against signing a one-year contract extension at the PTS Academy Stadium, and has instead put pen to paper on a two-year deal at with the Sky Bet League One Brewers.

He will link up with his new team-mates when Burton’s pre-season training begins at St George’s Park on July 1.

Clough has been monitoring O’Toole for a while now, and he said: “We’re really pleased to get John-Joe in - mainly for his abilities in both penalty areas.

“He has played a midfield role, but I think he carries a threat in both penalty areas from set plays, depending on where he plays and he is flexible, position-wise.

“We really need a threat; for the amount of corners, free-kicks and general play we had that ended up with the ball in the box, we haven’t finished off enough by any means.

“He is a player who can get you the odd goal from whatever position. That is going to be very important.

“He has played in League One before. He fits the sort of profile that we look for - and he provides aggression as well. That’s one thing that we certainly lack and could do with a bit more of.”

O’Toole, who leaves the Cobblers after five years, said: “I’m looking forward to it. I’ve seen a few of the games now and we’ve got a lot of talented players here - a good mix of characters and different players who can do different jobs.

“Hopefully I can add to that. From what I gather we were possibly unlucky to finish ninth and we could have got in the play-offs.

“Last season I only scored three goals - which for me personally isn’t good enough. So that’s something I want to add to my game and something I can do.

“I’m energetic, I’ll be up and down and I want to score goals, and generally help the team out.”