Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd has admitted he has treated Chris Hackett as ‘a special case’ in recent weeks, and is hoping his gamble pays off over the last 10 games of the npower League Two season.
Hackett will return to the Town starting line-up for tomorrow’s Sixfields showdown with struggling Accrington Stanley, and Boothroyd believes his return to action will be like ‘unleashing a new player’.
The former Oxford United and Millwall man has been one of the Cobbers’ players of the season, and is arguably their most potent attacking threat.
But due to niggling injuries and aches and pains he was rested and didn’t play any part in last Saturday’s disappointing 3-0 defeat at Exeter City, having also started on on the bench for the 1-1 draw at lowly AFC Wimbledon 10 days earlier.
They were decisions by Boothroyd that left many Cobblers fans mystified, but the Town boss insists he made those calls for the long-term benefit of the team.
“I made the decision to leave Chris Hackett out last weekend,” said Boothroyd.
“He is going to be very important for us in these last 10 games and I didn’t want to risk losing him for a longer period by playing him when he wasn’t quite one hundred per cent right.
“I’ve made him a bit of a special case but he’s fit now and he’s raring to go.
“He has no pain whatsoever so it will be like unleashing a new player against Accrington on Saturday.”
Long-term injury victim Alex Nicholls aside, Boothroyd has a fully-fit squad to select from for the visit of Accrington.