Cobblers boss Wilder ready to shuffle his pack for festive programme

STARTING ROLE - Dominic Calervt-Lewin could be in line for his first league start for the Cobblers since the 2-2 draw at Newport on October 31
STARTING ROLE - Dominic Calervt-Lewin could be in line for his first league start for the Cobblers since the 2-2 draw at Newport on October 31

Manager Chris Wilder will rotate his squad over the festive period as the Cobblers bid to stay among the frontrunners in Sky Bet League Two.

A consistent team selection has been one of the main reasons for the Cobblers’ rise up the table, with changes kept to a minimum, and usually enforced when they have happened.

But with two games coming up in the space of 48 hours and three in eight days, Wilder accepts he is going to have to fully utilise his squad to keep his team fresh and firing.

Town travel to struggling York City on Boxing Day (ko 3pm) before hosting Accrington less than 48 hours later on December 28 (ko 3pm) and then entertaining Barnet on January 2.

It is a physically testing week, and Wilder said: “Everybody realises, and the players realise, that this is a group effort over the next eight to 10 days, leading up to the Milton Keynes game (on January 9).

“Even after that we play on the Tuesday night at Plymouth and then on the Saturday, so we will utilise everybody in this period. It is important that everybody is ready.

“We play Boxing Day, we are in on December 27, and then we have another really big game against Accrington (Dec 28) who have done great again this season.

“We will look at the personnel, and if we need to freshen up we will.

“One of the good things this season is that we have had the ability to do that.

“It’s probably most important at the top of the pitch with the way we want to go about things, where we want to press and we want to get after teams.

“We have Ricky coming back, there is Alfie Potter who we brought into the club in the summer, we have Sam Hoskins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

“So everybody has to be ready, and the lads that think they may not be playing, things can quickly change because of an injury or a suspension.

“So we need to have everybody fully focused as a group as we always have been, and see how many points we can gather in this quick turnaround of games.”

The Cobblers’ only injury absentee for the trip to York is midfielder Paul Corry, who is out for the season with a knee injury.