Cobblers forward Alex Revell has received the backing of both his manager and team-mate Sam Hoskins as the striker seeks to end his 11-game run without a goal.
Revell netted eight times in his first 15 Cobblers appearances after signing from MK Dons in the summer, but has gone off the goal trail since despite being a regular in Rob Page’s staring line-up.
He squandered two excellent chances to put that right at Vale Park on Saturday when planting a free header wide and then shooting straight at Jak Alnwick having found himself one-on-one with the home goalkeeper.
But Revell’s worth ethic and physical presence played a key role in the victory, not least for the match-winning third goal, and that didn’t go unnoticed by his manager.
Page said: “Every centre-forward goes through spells where it doesn’t quite go for him - he had a free header from six yards that he’d usually put in the back of the net.
“It hasn’t quite gone for him but the time to worry is when he’s not getting those chances.
“That’s what I said to Sam Hoskins at half-time. He was frustrated with his performance but when it mattered he stepped up to the plate - he’s creating chances and getting chances.
“That’s all we’ve got to worry about because the goals will come.”
Hoskins, who did hit the target on Saturday when scrambling home Town’s second goal, also appreciated his team-mate’s efforts.
He said: “Alex might not be scoring but he’s doing everything else and he had a big part to play in the third goal.
“The goalkeeper made a great save but he’s doing everything right and we know with the quality he’s got, the goals will start to come again and he’ll be a big player for us like he already has been.”
Aaron Phillips, filling in for the injured Brendan Moloney at right-back, was another to win praise from Page, who is now hoping his side can use Saturday’s three points as a springboard for the busy Christmas period.
He added: “He (Phillips) has been solid the last two games. I thought he was exceptional against Bolton, from not being involved at all to going in and playing the way he did.
“That was another thing and another message to the players on Saturday - from the way we finished against Bolton for the last 40 or 45 minutes of that game, we were on top against them and they’re a very good team.
“There were a lot of positives from that game (against Bolton) and it was important we took that momentum into the game on Saturday and I thought we did that.”