Jefferson Lake’s Rotherham v Cobblers preview: Town in good shape as main men stay at Sixfields

The Cobblers head to Rotherham United this weekend 48 hours after the end of a transfer window which essentially boiled down to being little more than an unncessary distraction.

They didn’t actually need to sign anyone in January.

Five wins in seven games suggests this is a team that is doing quite alright in league two as it is.

And when you take into consideration that any new arrivals were likely to be loan players anyway, and that such deals can be done in a week’s time, the fuss and furore about the window itself all seems rather pointless.

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Roy O’Donovan has arrived from Coventry City to bolster options in the final third and that seems about right - Louis Moult has gone off the boil since his red card at York City in November and Lewis Wilson looks sharp but probably needs another loan spell to toughen him up a little more.

The key part of the past month was, however, never going to be about recruitment.

Although there is always a frisson of excitement among the supporters when a new player comes in, the fact of the matter is that the Cobblers would really have just been signing players for the sake of it at this stage.

The most important thing was to maintain the status quo, to come through the period unscathed and with all the big hitters still on the books and ready to enhance the bid for promotion.

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Lewis Hornby had been scouted a number of times by several other clubs and it is impossible to believe that Chris Hackett, the team’s best, fittest and most consitent player, did not have his suitors.

Kelvin Langmead will have interested clubs, but the business done at this time of year is usually for strikers.

Goals win games and there is no shortage of clubs willing to pay the big bucks to boost their chances of putting more points on the board, either for survival or promotion.

Which brings us onto Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Gillingham wanted him and the case could be made quite easily that a longer-term contract elsewhere was in the player’s best interests.

But he had to be kept.

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The club stood no chance of replacing him with another player with a comparable goalscoring record without splashing some serious cash.

Now that the window has closed, Akinfenwa - and all the other players - can concentrate on the job of mounting a genuine attempt at promotion to league one at Sixfields.

The big man hasn’t scored as many goals as he would have liked in the past month - just two in nine games - and so it could be argued the issue has distracted him from producing his best form.

Of course, it’s not all about Bayo, and Boothroyd too will be pleased the window has passed without any great drama.

It is a necessary distraction but one that has been safely navigated without too much damage being done, both to the squad and to their position in the league table.

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