Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh has explained his reasoning behind Hiram Boateng’s absence from recent match day squads after the Crystal Palace loanee again failed to make the final 18 for the visit to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Signed on New Year’s Day, Boateng had established himself as a key member of Northampton’s midfield in January and February with a number of impressive performances.
But following their 2-1 home defeat to Oldham at the beginning of March, the 21-year-old has not started any of the four matches since, only making the match day squad once – that coming against Port Vale last Tuesday when he made a 13-minute cameo appearance.
His surprise exclusion has left some Cobblers fans wondering if there is a deeper reason, particularly given previous performances, but Edinburgh says that is not the case.
Only able to pick five loan players from the six he has available, the Cobblers boss admits it’s tough to leave one out but, often having to decide between Boateng and Gregg Wylde, he can only select his squad based on what he sees in training.
“It’s a real difficult position that I’m in because we have six and one has to miss out,” explained Edinburgh.
“I think perhaps it changes from week to week but at the minute it’s probably between him and Wylde in terms of who make the bench.
“The others – Keshi (Anderson), Lewin (Nyatanga), Luke (Williams) and Michael (Smith) – are starting games and they’re a big part of the team.
“It’s a difficult one. It’s nothing that he’s done wrong and a lot of what I’m picking in terms of the subs and the squad is based on what I see day-to-day in training and I have to do that.”
One inclusion that raised a few eyebrows on Saturday was that of Jak McCourt, who came in for his first start since before Christmas, but after a spirited team performance in a 2-1 defeat, his selection was justified.
“I thought he did well,” said Edinburgh on McCourt’s display. “He tired towards the end but that was understandable.
“He hadn’t played for a while but Jak’s been patient, he’s trained very well and his attitude has been spot on so I thought he was worthy of a start.
“On balance, he did very well and I was pleased with his performance as I was with everyone.”