On-song Holmes hoping he can stay on the goal trail for Cobblers

JUMPING FOR JOY - Ricky Holmes celebrates his goal in the 3-0 win over Barnet on January 2
JUMPING FOR JOY - Ricky Holmes celebrates his goal in the 3-0 win over Barnet on January 2

Ricky Holmes is hoping he can keep up his unexpected goal rush as the Cobblers press for the Sky Bet League Two title.

The 28-year-old is the first to admit that he hasn’t been the most prolific net-finder in his career to date.

Prior to his substitute appearance in the win at Luton Town on December 12, Holmes had scored a respectable 25 times in 193 appearances, a ratio of a goal roughly every eight games.

But since hammering home his ripsnorting 25-yard winner in the victory over the Hatters at Kenilworth Road, Holmes has scored five in his past 10 - and that equals a goal every two appearances.

The former Portsmouth man has welcomed the addition of goals to his game, and attributes the upturn in his finishing prowess (he has scored eight times in all for the Cobblers in 35 appearances) to the attacking freedom he is given by Town manager Chris Wilder.

Indeed, he believes he us thriving under his current boss.

“It has been unlike me, my career hasn’t been full of goals, it’s usually assists,” admitted Holmes.

“But the gaffer lets me get into positions where I want to play with freedom, and he lets me do that.

“I think I am thriving under the manager, and I think I have been the whole time I have been at the club.

“Goals are a big thing for me now, and hopefully they will keep coming.”

Holmes endured a frustrating start to the current season, with injury meaning he missed a large chunk of pre-season, and he then suffered a back injury on August 18 that kept him out of action until November.

But since being eased back into the team with substitute appearances throughout December he has started to make up for lost time, and has been one of the Cobblers’ star performers since making his first start of the season in the 3-0 win over Barnet on January 2.

He is delighted to back in action, and said: “It is frustrating, especially when you see your team winning and doing so well, you want to be part of it.

“When you are inured you do feel a bit distant from everyone, because there was only a couple of us out injured and I spent a lot of time with Brendan (Moloney) with both of us trying to get back fit. Thankfully we are both now back on the pitch and doing well.

“You never lose your hunger, it is more frustration that you can’t be out there.

“I did make an attempt to come back, and kept breaking down and stuff, but thankfully it looks like I am over those injuries and really looking forward to kicking on.”

Holmes is now targeting helping the Cobblers to promotion at the end of the season, and he says it has been easy to re-integrate into a side that has been playing so well.

The Cobblers having won 11 of their past 12 games in Sky Bet League Two, a run stretching back to early November, and Holmes admitted: “It is so much easier to come into a team and play, the way we pass the ball around, that is how I want to play.

“I want to get on the ball.

“League two is renowned for the long-ball and rush, but we tend not to do that and when we pass the ball we really do look like a good team.

“We can now go again Saturday and hopefully get another three points.”