Loan signing George Cox is in line to make his first appearance for the Cobblers in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Carlisle United at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Signed on Monday, the 20-year-old Brighton & Hove Albion left-sided player is with Town until the end of the season, and boss Keith Curle has confirmed he will be in the 18 to take on the Cumbrians this weekend.
The Town manager is delighted with how Cox has settled into life at the PTS, and made it clear he intends to utilise a player he believes will add a new dimension to his team’s attacking play.
“George has integrated himself very well,” said the Cobblers boss.
“He would have come and joined us earlier, but because we didn’t have a game on Saturday and he wasn’t eligible for the Checkatrade game, there wasn’t any point in getting the lad up here training.
“So he came up on Sunday, he has seen how we prepare for games, seen the environment we work in, he is up at the training ground today and the kid is buzzing.
I bring players into the football club that are going to enhance and improve the 18, so he is definitely going to be involved in the 18Cobblers boss Keith Curle
“He has good ball mastery, has good dynamics and can turn anything down the left hand side into an attacking movement.
“He can play as a left-back, he can play in front of a left-back, he can play as a wing-back and he has good delivery in the final third.
“Now it is a case of when he earns his opportunity to play.”
Asked if he would feature this weekend, Curle added: “Yes. I bring players into the football club that are going to enhance and improve the 18, so he is definitely going to be involved in the 18.”
In other team news, Curle is waiting to find out who of his walking wounded will be fit to take on his former team this weekend.
Ash Taylor and Dean Bowditch both limped out of Tuesday’s 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Bristol Rovers, while in-form striker Andy Williams missed that game.
Asked about their fitness ahead of training on Thursday afternoon, Curle said: “They have had a day’s rest on Wednesday, and will be assessed further today.
“The thing is, if you have a look at those players if there is an opportunity for them to get out on the pitch on Saturday then they will get out there.
“If not, then it will be the right decision not to play them.
“They are good characters, they want to play and they want to be involved, which is important.
“Sometimes you get players who need to be 100 per cent fit, whereas other players can get by when they are 90 per cent fit because of their desire.”
John-Joe O’Toole is another player who is on the mend.
The midfielder hasn’t played since suffering bruising on his ankle in the 3-1 defeat at Newport County at the end of November, and although he is now back in training, this weekend could come too quickly for him.
“JJ is getting closer and he is back doing field rehabilitation now, and he is out doing his football movements and football dynamics,” said Curle.
“It might be too soon for him to start a game, but we are getting closer to him being back involved in the squad.
“He is out on the grass with the rest of the players, but there is still a long way to go this season, and we owe it to the players to give them the best opportunity to perform.”