Striker Jake Speight could be in line for a place in Saturday’s squad at home to Chesterfield following after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, manager Paul Cox revealed today.
Speight has been struggling with a knee problem for most of the current campaign and last featured for our first team as a used substitute during our home match against Morecambe at the end of November.
But the former Wrexham front man netted the winner in last night’s 3-2 win at Leicester City to send our second string through to the Final Third Development League Cup Final
Speaking at his final news conference before Saturday’s local derby at home to local rivals Chesterfield, manager Paul Cox said that the 28-year-old will be re-available for first team selection following last night’s match: “We beat a decent Leicester City side 3-2. Jake Speight got 45 minutes under his belt and scored a goal; it puts him in contention for Saturday, for the first time in a while now which is pleasing.
“He had one chance in 45 minutes and put it away. It was a great finish to be fair to the kid. He is a natural finisher and showed that with the chance that fell to him."
Looking ahead to Saturday’s derby match, Cox added: “It’s a big game; local derbies usually are. We have games coming thick and fast every week now. It’s just one of a number of games [for us] and Saturday is huge for both clubs. It means a lot to both sets of supporters, players and staff.”
Asked of his message to the fans, he said: “I just want our fans to get behind our side and be as vocal as they have been. The support at Northampton was excellent and the fans have got right behind us. Just get behind the players and [hopefully] they’ll cheer us on to a win.”
In team news, Darryl Westlake misses the match after being sent off during the 1-1 draw at Northampton Town last Saturday. Ritchie Sutton and Lee Beevers, who completed 90 minutes in the aforementioned reserve match, will be fighting to fill the vacant slot at right-wing-back.
The full interview with Paul Cox from today's news conference will be available later today on Stags Player, along with previews from assistant manager/captain Adam Murray and defender Martin Riley.