Midfielder O’Toole says it’s a case of ‘wait and see’ over new Cobblers contract

Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O'Toole
Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O'Toole

Midfielder John-Joe O’Toole has admitted he will ‘have to wait and see’ if he will be offered a new contract to stay at the Cobblers.

The 30-year-old’s Town deal expires this summer, and the former Bristol Rovers man admits he ‘hasn’t heard too much’ about whether or not it will be extended or not.

I need to get some games under my belt and really put some performances in to help the team out, and then we will see at the end of the season

Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O’Toole

Signed on a three-year deal in the summer of 2014 from Bristol Rovers, fans’ favourite O’Toole put pen to paper on a new two-year deal in April, 2017.

He has been frustrated by an injury-hit campaign in which he has made just 26 appearances, but has been a regular starter when available under Keith Curle’s management.

O’Toole missed more than two months of the campaign with a badly bruised foot, but has started the past four games, and says it is now down to him to get his head down and put in the displays that could see him prolong his stay at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Asked about whether he hopes he will be offered a new deal, O’Toole said: “I haven’t heard too much (about a new contract), so we will have to wait and see.

“I need to get some games under my belt and really put some performances in to help the team out, and then we will see at the end of the season I guess.”

In all, O’Toole has made 153 starts for the club and 33 substitute appearances, scoring 34 goals.

Along with David Buchanan, he is the joing longest-serving player at the club.

Signed by Chris Wilder, O’Toole endured a difficult first season at the club, but after his second campaign he was named player of the year by the Cobblers supporters, scoring 12 goals in 43 games as Town won the Sky Bet League Two title.

He has continued to be a key man under the succession of managers that have been in charge since Wilder left, matching his 12-goal tally in 2016/17 as Town avoided relegation from league one, and six last term when Town did drop back into the basement division.

Goals have been harder to come by for O’Toole so far this season, and he admits his tally of two is not good enough and something he is determined to improve on in the final 13 games of the campaign.

O’Toole went close to breaking the deadlock in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Crawley, only to see his half-volley fly over the bar, and he is determined to improve his conversion rate.

“For the chance on Saturday, the ball took a bit of a dodgy bounce, which had it not have done the shot might have gone in,” said the Harrow-born player.

“But I have been a bit disappointed this season.

“I know I have a goal in me, and I haven’t scored anywhere near as many as I would have liked, so that is a frustration.

“That is something I need to improve on, and hopefully it will come.”

O’Toole also feels his match fitness is improving all the time.

“It has been a frustrating season, but I feel I am getting my fitness game by game,” said the former Watford trainee, who was out injured for the whole of December and January.

“I still want to do more, and I am sure in time I will.

“You need games, you need minutes, and you need to work on it day in, day out as well, which we do. But these things sometimes take time.”