Cobblers midfielder O’Toole expected to be fit for Hartlepool trip

SAME AGAIN? - Jason Taylor (right) will be hoping he has done enough to keep fit-again John-Joe O'Toole out of the Cobblers starting line-up at Hartlepool on Saturday
SAME AGAIN? - Jason Taylor (right) will be hoping he has done enough to keep fit-again John-Joe O'Toole out of the Cobblers starting line-up at Hartlepool on Saturday

Midfielder John-Joe O’Toole is expected to regain full fitness and be available for the Cobblers’ trip to Hartlepool United on Saturday.

O’Toole missed Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at York City due to a thigh strain picked up in last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers.

Manager Chris Wilder revealed the player is on the mend, and could have even been risked at Bootham Crescent, but he instead decided to give Jason Taylor his first Sky Bet League Two start since September 12.

“John-Joe was getting better, and we could possibly have risked him at York,” said Wilder.

“But we looked at it and thought with the amount of games we have coming up, it wasn’t worth taking that risk, especially knowing what Jason Taylor is all about.”

Taylor enjoyed a good game in the heart of midfield against the Minstermen, and it could be that he will keep his place for the trip to Hartlepool.

His performance certainly means tht Wilder doesn’t have to rush O’Toole back if he doesn’t want to.

“Jason was a big player for us last January when he came into the football club, along with Joel Byrom and Ricky Holmes and Brendan Moloney,” said the Town boss.

“He was a catalyst to our performances and results, and he has found it difficult to get into the team, because of John-Joe’s performances, but Jason understands that is the way it is.

“He has to wait for it to open up, and he is ready and fit. He has worked extremely hard in training and is one of a number of players we have got that is unfortunate not to be getting a game.

“I believe Jason would get into the majority of league two teams, but it is because of the strength in depth that we’ve got, and the squad we have put together that has meant he hasn’t been gettting a game.

“But when he steps on to the pitch he always gives his all, and organises people and makes really good decisions.”

Missing from the Cobblers line-up at Hartlepool will be Marc Richards (Achilles) and Paul Corry (knee) but everybody else should be available.