Aidy Boothroyd did not have much to praise at Rotherham United on Saturday but hailed debutant Roy O’Donovan’s performance as a reason to be cheerful.
The striker, who was signed on transfer deadline day after being given his release by Coventry City, was introduced as a half-time substitute for another debutant, Manny Omeyeke, who started in central midfield but concluded his half as a right-winger.
The Town boss was not a happy man as his side were well beaten by the Millers, who ran out 3-1 winners to slide Northampton back to eighth in npower League Two.
But Boothroyd did find some comfort in the display provided by his latest recruit.
“It was his (Omeyeke’s) first game and we wanted him to do a man-to-man marking job on Pringle because we knew he was one of their key players,” he said.
“But at the end I just felt we needed to make the change to try to get us back into the game.
“Roy gave us a bit of a spark, he chased things down and he will bring pace to our side and a threat of pace in behind.
“He didn’t get the service but he worked his socks off and he was one of the few players in the game who can say they worked as hard as I know they can.”
Boothroyd felt a greater desire by Rotherham was the decisive factor in a defeat that was his team’s eighth of the current campaign away from home.
He was furious that his players had been outfought but took time out to congratulate the Millers on their win.
“We’re better than we showed on Saturday, far better than that,” he said. “It was simple, there was nothing tactical to it, we knew how they were going to play.
“But we couldn’t seem to get hold of the ball, we made bad decisions, we allowed ourselves to be hurried and harried and you have to give credit to Rotherham because that’s what they do.
“We didn’t deal with that. They took the points on the day and they deserved to take them.”