Cobblers boss Wilder won’t take risks over players with niggling injuries

Cobblers defender Evan Horwood
Cobblers defender Evan Horwood
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Manager Chris Wilder says the Cobblers squad has picked up ‘a couple of niggles’ in pre-season to date, but nothing to be too concerned about.

Aside from the frustration of right-back Brendan Moloney having to undergo a knee operation after an end-of-season misdiagnosis, Wilder has been pleased with how his squad has fared since returning to work on June 22.

The only player yet to see playing action is Evan Horwood, who is close to 100 per cent after a summer groin op.

Winger Ricky Holmes sat out last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Burgess Hill as a precaution, as did trialist Gozie Ugwu, and although both could come into the contention against Derby County this weekend, no risks will be taken.

“We have picked up a couple of niggles, which you would expect when it is a competitive environment,” said Wilder.

“There is also the fact they are going back into playing football. They have had a fair bit of time off, so they have to get used to their bodies moving and working again.

“So there have been a couple of niggles, but nothing major. Of course we won’t risk anybody.

“It’s not as if this is the last game of the season where we have six to eight weeks off afterwards and we can afford to take a gamble.

“We won’t be doing that over pre-season, and we will assess all the time. The majority have come through two games, and a tough week of training.”

Town take on Championship side Derby at Sixfields on Saturday, and Wilder is looking forward to it.

“Derby are a team that two years ago really should have gone into the Premier League,” said the Town boss.

“Last season they were tipped to go up, only for a disappointing end to the season to stop that.

“But they are a massive club, a fantastic club, and one we are really looking forward to playing.

“It will be a good challenge for us.”