Cobblers boss pondering selection issues
Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd says he knows the importance of Saturday’s visit from AFC Wimbledon.
“It was nice to get the win on Tuesday night but it’s important that we now focus on the next performance and the next game,” he said.
“I know how important it is for fans of any team to beat your local rivals and of course it was nice to win the game especially against a team who at the moment are a lot higher up the stage of development than we are as a club.
“The league is always going to be our priority, we want to have a run and do the best we can in every cup competition because it’s our duty to but as a club our main aim is to progress and move up the leagues over a period of time.
“I don’t think we have played a team yet this season that has beaten us, we’ve been the architects of our own downfalls and some of the decisions we made in the second half at Plymouth were unacceptable.
“That can be irritating but thankfully I am in a position now where we either learn and make a different mistake that isn’t quite as drastic or someone else will come into the team.
“The team was shifted around a bit on Tuesday night but I thought to a man the response from all the players who came into the side was absolutely fantastic.
“They gave me a jolt and a little reminder that they are still here and when you get a performance like that it also gives the players who have been in the team a little reminder that if they aren’t at it then they will be out.
“It’s competitive and that’s the way I like it. People will see that I like having a settled team but I like having a settled winning team.
“I don’t pick the team, the players pick the team through their performance levels on the pitch and in training and if they are consistent and do what is required to win on a regular basis then they will keep their place.
“I think it was a big step forward for everybody who played on Tuesday and the quandary for me now for Saturday is can those players do it again?
“The gauntlet has been thrown down and all the players know now that they have to play well if they want to stay in the team.
“I’ve not made any decisions on my team selection for Saturday at the moment but when I’ve made those decisions I will speak to the players and let them know where they stand. Some might hear, 'Well done, you are very much in my thoughts but you are not in this weekend,' while others might hear 'I am giving you your opportunity, now go and take it and make it impossible for me to leave you out.'
“I know that there is a lot more to come from this team but I also know that takes time. We’ve come a long way in a short space of time but I’m an impatient guy which as I’ve said before is probably my biggest strength and my biggest weakness.
“John Johnson is touch and go for Saturday but all the other players who we rested as a precaution on Tuesday night trained on Thursday and they will all be fit and available.
“The loan market is available to us again now but for the time being that’s just an option that is there and we won’t be doing anything for the moment.”