Chris Wilder will give right-back Brendan Moloney every chance to prove his fitness so he can play in Saturday’s final home game of the season against Luton Town at Sixfields.
The Irishman has missed the past two games due to a knee problem, but Wilder is confident he will be fit for this weekend, and he wants Moloney to be available so he can play the fullest part in the club’s Sky Bet League Two title celebrations.
A record crowd is expected to pack into Sixfields to not only see the game, but also witness the trophy presentation after the match, and the Cobblers boss feels Moloney deserves to start on Saturday after his efforts this season.
“Hopefully Brendan will be back,” said Wilder. “We didn’t want to take a chance with him at Yeovil on Saturday, although he was desperate to play and travelled down.
“We feel he will be really close to playing on Saturday, and if he is close, then he will play because he has been an outstanding player for us.”
Moloney missed the first three months of the season after undergoing a knee operation in the summer.
The 27-year-old missed the entire pre-season, and was then introduced to the fray for the FA Cup first round tie at Coventry City having not even played a reserve team friendly.
He was arguably man of the match in the 2-1 win at the Ricoh Arena, and hasn’t looked back since, playing a key role in the Cobblers’ title success, and Wilder acknowledges that.
“A lot was talked about Ricky Holmes coming into the team, a lot has been talked about other players that have played a part, but Brendan has been excellent,” said the Cobblers boss.
“His performance at Coventry when he had not played any games, and then we chucked him in,was outstanding.
“He deserves to play at the weekend if he is fit enough, and I am sure he will be desperate to get out there on Saturday, because if I am a player I don’t want to miss that.
“He will have to be fit and be ready to get through the 90 minutes, because young Josh Lelan has done well, so he will have to be fit and if we think he is then he will play.”