Cobblers sweat on Kioso’s injury as Brady warns Chukwuemeka still has ‘lots to learn’

Full-back nursing groin problem and was forced off against Ipswich

By James Heneghan
Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:27 pm
Caleb Chukwuemeka
Caleb Chukwuemeka

Jon Brady believes Cobblers striker Caleb Chukwuemeka still has ‘lots to learn’ after the youngster made his second league start on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old was in from the off against Ipswich Town and impressed in the first-half as Northampton eased into a two-goal lead courtesy of Peter Kioso’s brace.

Chukwuemeka linked up well with Alex Jones and was only denied a goal by Stephen Ward’s superb block, but he lasted just 10 minutes of the second-half.

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Brady, who was regularly heard shouting instructions at the academy striker from the touchline, has previously spoken about Chukwuemeka’s need to work harder off the ball. Former Town manager Keith Curle also made similar remarks earlier in the season. 

“As you can see, he’s good on the ball but out of possession, he still needs a lot of work and that’s a trade-off that I’ve spoken about before,” said Brady. 

“You have trade-offs with injuries and also certain players but he’s a threat going forward and he’s young and he’s learning his trade and I’m just pleased for him to get a start tonight.

“He was positive in what he did on the ball but he still has a lot of learning to do off the ball.”

Kioso also started on Tuesday following time out with a groin injury, but he had to be replaced late on and looks a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Gillingham.

“We’ve got to do certain things for him,” said Brady. “He was on the bike at half-time with a hot water bottle on his groin and fair play to him because he’s come out and put himself on the line tonight.

“He put himself out there for the club first and foremost and I thought it was one of his better games as well. We hope he’ll be available on Saturday but we’ll have to wait and see. 

“Unfortunately we didn’t get an opportunity to get Mickel (Miller) on tonight but it was good to have him on the bench to use as well.”

Brady also praised goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell after his stunning save from Kane Vincent-Young when the score was 2-0. 

He added: “It was a big moment in the game and it was a fantastic save. I also thought his kicking was on point tonight. It hasn’t always been the best but his striking of the ball was excellent.

“To get results like this for us, we need nine or 10 of our players turning up. We can’t afford to have three or four not at the races and I thought everyone was at it.”