Paul Anderson was full of praise for his ‘brilliant’ team-mate JJ Hooper after Saturday’s win over Harrow Borough as the Cobblers midfielder urged fans stop giving the Port Vale loanee what he believes is ‘unfair stick’.
Hooper bagged his first Cobblers goal in stoppage time of Saturday’s emphatic FA Cup victory, but prior to that, the 23-year-old was on the receiving end of several frustrated home fans who became exasperated by the forward’s mixed performance.
Though he has caused problems for opposing teams with his pace and strength, Hooper’s sloppiness in possession and lack of a consistent end product have been the chief reasons behind fans’ frustrations.
Anderson, though, has a different view and wants supporters to get behind his team-mate.
He said: “We’re all delighted for him. He’s come in for some stick from the fans which I definitely think is unfair.
“What he offers us, not many other players can do that.
“He and Sam Hoskins over the last few weeks have been absolutely brilliant for us and critical to how we’ve been playing and the results we’ve got.
“I think fans have to understand every single player out there is giving their all.
“Some days I’m not the greatest, other days someone else might not be the greatest but we’re a team, the club and the fans are together and everyone is in it together.
“It’s so nice for someone like Hooper, who’s come in for some stick but been absolutely brilliant for us recently, to get some reward.”
Despite threatening at times, Harrow never really came close to producing a major cup shock on Saturday as the Cobblers cruised through to round two.
Anderson’s early screamer got the ball rolling before Marc Richards’ double virtually sealed the deal, with John-Joe O’Toole, Matty Taylor and Hooper adding gloss to the scoreline.
“To be fair to Harrow they played some half decent football, but we were very professional and kept them out,” added Anderson.
“My strike on six minutes and then Rico’s goal not long after gave us a great start and to have a clean sheet and be 2-0 up at half-time, it was about being as professional as possible in the second-half.
“I felt a little bit for them because when you score two goals in 10 minutes it sort of kills the game a little bit.
“They probably didn’t enjoy their day out as much as they could have done, but it was about us and we were very professional.
“The attitude from back to front was absolutely spot on and we can’t complain because we’re in the hat for the next round and that was the whole point of the game.”