Cobblers cool on new striker as Boothroyd looks to squad’s youngsters

OPPORTUNITY - JJ Hooper could make his full debut for the Cobblers against Milton Keynes Dons
OPPORTUNITY - JJ Hooper could make his full debut for the Cobblers against Milton Keynes Dons

Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed he wants to give the young forwards in his squad first-team opportunities before making a decision over signing a new striker.

And the Town manager has hinted JJ Hooper could make his full debut in the Capital One Cup tie against Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday night (7.45pm ko).

The ex-Newcastle United striker came off the bench in injury time of the 1-0 defeat to York City on Saturday, in which Roy O’Donovan played as a lone front man.

But he could get his chance against the Dons with Boothroyd re-assessing his options in the forward line.

“Everybody is talking about getting a new striker in but to be perfectly honest we’ve got Roy O’Donovan who has come from a higher level and scored a few goals towards the end of last season,” he said.

“We’ve got Clive coming back and we took the lad Hooper from Newcastle and sooner or later you’ve got to give people a chance.

“Yes, we could go out and get a senior striker or a kid on loan but I don’t want to do that until I’ve had a good look at what we’ve got.

“If you’re going to have a youth policy and you’re going to bring players through then you need to give them a chance.”

There will be an opening in the side on Tuesday night with Darren Carter’s suspension leaving a vacancy in central midfield.

If Hooper plays, it will mean a change to a system that uses two players up front, and Boothroyd wants to see a squad player seize their moment.

“It will be a good game and we’re treating it very seriously,” he said. “With Darren being out it’s an opportunity for someone to come in either up front or in midfield.

“We’ve brought quite a few players in and you never know how good they are going to be until you give them a chance.

“Danny Emerton was very good on Saturday and he proved that to be the case.”