Knill: Holmes’s return is like a new signing for Cobblers

STILL WAITING - Ricky Holmes was an unused substitute in the Cobblers' win over Yeovil last weekend (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

STILL WAITING - Ricky Holmes was an unused substitute in the Cobblers' win over Yeovil last weekend (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Cobblers assistant boss Alan Knill has welcomed the return to fitness of attacker Ricky Holmes, saying it ‘is like signing a new player’.

Out of action since the middle of August with a back injury, Holmes was named in the match day squad for last Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Yeovil Town at Sixfields.

The nip and tuck nature of the game meant there was no chance for boss Chris Wilder to introduce the player to the action in the hard-fought 2-0 win.

But there is every chance Holmes will get a run-out for the first time since August 15 when non-League Northwich Victoria come to town in the FA Cup second round on Saturday.

The former Portsmouth man is likely to start on the bench again, with Knill saying: “Ricky will be out there somewhere, but whether he starts or not is another thing.

“It’s just a bonus for us really, and it is like signing a new player.”

Wilder has often spoken about how Holmes’s character has been missed around the squad while he has been out injured, and Knill agrees.

“Ricky has been back, in and out of training for two weeks now, and whenever he trains he is so enthusiastic,” said the Town assistant boss.

“He has such an energy about him, and the only problem is you have to be so careful, because he has been out so long we have to sort of put the reins on him.

“Ricky wants to do more, he wants to play, and if anything we are holding him back.

“Results have made that easier for us to do. If results hadn’t been so great you might be forced to go ‘we need to throw him in’, but fortunately results have been good so we can take our time with Ricky.

“But I am sure he is going to have a big part to play for us between now and the end of the season.”