Cobblers fringe players to get game time in Stevenage friendly

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder
Cobblers boss Chris Wilder

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder is planning to use his side’s two-week break from action as an opportunity to give fringe players some much-needed game time.

Northampton were due to visit Oxford United for a league game this weekend, but with the Yellows hosting Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup, the match has been rearranged for February 16.

That means the Cobblers have no league game until next month when strugglers York City head to town on February 6, but Town are pencilled in to play at Stevenage in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday.

Wilder will use the opportunity to give those who haven’t played much a chance to build up match fitness, with the likes of Josh Lelan, Evan Horwood, Ryan Clarke and Jason Taylor all short on game time.

When asked what the plan is for the two-week break, Wilder said: “The players will have Monday off and we’re going to work right the way through the week.

“We’re going to get some minutes into the boys who haven’t played much by organising a reserve game.

“The likes of Lelan, Horwood, Ryan Cresswell, Jason Taylor, Sammy Hoskins - the lads who haven’t really played a lot of football so we’ll get them up to speed.

“There’s always a benefit from having a little break.

“There’s obviously a couple of lads who have some knocks which we’ll rest but we’ll be working hard.

“They’ll get the time off but hopefully when we come back here a week on Saturday we’ll be nice and refreshed and ready to go again.

“As I’ve said before, there are no gimmes in this league, no ‘just turn up and we’re going to win’ games and I need that from the supporters.

“We need that drive and I’m sure this group of players will sort their part of the bargain out and that’s what we’re looking to do.”