Cobblers boss Page admits striker unlikely to be signed in time for Wimbledon clash

Cobblers boss Rob Page

Cobblers boss Rob Page

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Cobblers boss Rob Page is not expecting to sign the loan striker he has targeted ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields.

The Town manager has been tracking the player to boost the club’s attacking options for several weeks now, but says he and the supporters are going to have to remain patient for a little bit longer.

Page had initially hoped to get all his signing business done ahead of the start of the new season, but he admits he has been frustrated in his attempts to put the finishing touches to his squad, with the striker’s parent club not yet ready to release him for the season.

Asked if the deal to sign the player was going to be done ahead of the weekend, Page said: “We are no closer than we were at the beginning part of the week.

“It is frustrating at the minute, but it is what it is that situation, as we are governed by the club we are in discussions with and until anything changes, we have just got to be patient.”

The Town boss then confirmed it will be a loan signing, and also hinted there may be at least one more player coming into the club, following this week’s departure of midfielder Jason Taylor to Eastleigh, following on from Ryan Cresswell’s move to the same club.

“With how we have done business, with freeing up some money, that enables us now to go and get one, maybe two potentially, new players in,” said Page, who is happy with the strength of his squad, but still intent on trying to make it better before the transfer window closes at the end of August.

“There is always room for improvement, and I have brought players in and maybe a couple of them aren’t firing on all cylinders at the minute,” said the Welshman, who has signed 12 players so far this summer since replacing Chris Wilder as Cobblers boss.

“That is because of the pre-season they have had at their parent club, and that is not being too harsh on them, it is understanding why they are under par at the minute.

“But we will get them there, and when we do we will have some good players on our hands, that is why they have been brought to the club.”

The Cobblers go into Saturday’s date with AFC Wimbledon without any injury concerns, although several players, such as Jak McCourt, Raheem Hanley, Brendan Moloney, Lawson D’Aath and Rod McDonald are short on any sort of match fitness.

A scheduled friendly with Barnsley that was arranged for Wednesday to get players game time had to be cancelled, so it is unlikely Page will be making many changes for the weekend, although he could revert to the two-man attack of Alex Revell and Marc Richards that he employed in the season’s opening home game against Fleetwood.

Since then, the Cobblers have been on the road and played three away games, and Page is delighted to be returning to Sixfields this weekend.

“It’s been a tough and gruelling time for the boys, especially with the extra-time as well at Barnsley, which certainly doesn’t help,” said the Cobblers boss.

“But the players are looking forward to coming back home and playing in front of our own fans. We will aim to be nice and positive on Saturday and hopefully get the win.”