The Cobblers have been handed a boost ahead of their FA Cup clash at Coventry City with the news that Sky Blues’ free-scoring striker Adam Armstrong will not be allowed to play.
The 18-year-old is on loan at the Ricoh Arena from Premier League side Newcastle United, and Steve McClaren has barred him from appearing for the Sky Bet League one side in the FA Cup to ensure he is not cup-tied for future rounds.
Armstrong has been the standout performer for Tony Mowbray’s men this season, scoring 12 goals in just 14 starts, including four in their past two league games which saw them edge past Peterborough United 3-2 and Barnsley 4-3.
And the teenager, who is the leading scorer in the four top divisions of English football, will not be the only absentee for City as they take on Northampton.
Liverpool forward Ryan Kent, who is also 18, is another who has not been allowed to pay by his parent club, while holding midfieler Romain Vincelot, who has been a virtual ever-present this season won’t play either.
The Frenchman misses out due to a one-match ban after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Tuesday.
It is understood that former England midfielder Joe Cole, on loan at Coventry from Aston Villa, does have permission from his parent club to play in the FA Cup, but the 33-year-old is struggling with match fitness.
Both Cole and manager Mowbray hinted to the media following the midweek win over Barnsley that he may not be fit to play.