Wilder hails Clarke as keeper gets Cobblers recall

Ryan Clarke will start for Cobblers at Millwall (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Ryan Clarke will start for Cobblers at Millwall (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Chris Wilder has praised the patience of Ryan Clarke as the manager prepares to recall the goalkeeper for Cobblers’ clash with Millwall tonight (Tuesday).

Clarke will take over from in-form Adam Smith as Town travel to The Den for a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round tie.

Smith has been the Cobblers No.1 this season, with the former Leicester City man producing a string of outstanding displays.

But Clarke, who also joined the club during the summer, after his stay at Oxford United came to an end, has played in the knock-out matches against Blackpool and Newcastle United, in the Capital One Cup, and Colchester United in the JPT.

And Wilder said: “Ryan Clarke will play.

“We’ve all gone on about Adam this year, but Ryan’s been absolutely outstanding.

“He’s been patient, but he’s desperate to play.

“It’s a tough time for him not being in the team, but the consolation he can take out of that is we all know Adam’s form has been absolutely outstanding.

“I’ve always said I’ve got the best two keepers in the division and every time Ryan has played in the cup competitions he’s been brilliant and he’ll play on Tuesday night.”

And Wilder added: “We (the management team) spoke over the weekend and we’re going to have to pick the right side.

“We’ll look at all options, but it’s a good opportunity to go and play what I believe should be a Championship side that’s in League One at the moment.

“It’s a tough test for us and one we’re going to go and enjoy.

“Whatever team we pick, our record has been very good so we want to continue that.

“The competition rules govern what team you can pick, but it’s an opportunity for players to get minutes.”

Jason Taylor returns from a four-match suspension, with Cobblers having not lost a game since the midfield man has been out.

And Wilder said: “It’s good to get players back and have the opportunity to select them.

“I’ve always said that if our squad is strong and there aren’t many out then I expect us to go well.

“It hasn’t been the healthiest of squads so far and we’d rather have Jason in with us so it’s good to get him back involved and amongst it.”

Alfie Potter is touch and go to be fit for the game after missing the win at Wycombe with a dead leg, but Ricky Holmes, Rod McDonald and Paul Corry are among those still sidelined.