McDonald set for first Cobblers start with Diamond a doubt

HEADS UP - Rod McDonald in action during Saturday's 3-0 win over Exeter City (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

HEADS UP - Rod McDonald in action during Saturday's 3-0 win over Exeter City (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Rod McDonald is in line to make his full Football League debut in the Cobblers’ clash at Barnet on Tuesday night.

The former Telford and Hereford United man is likely to start for Town at The Hive, with Zander Diamond set to miss out due to a groin problem picked up in Saturday’s 3-0 Sky Bet League Two win over Exeter City.

The Scotsman was withdrawn at half-time of the win over the Grecians ‘as a precaution’, and Town boss Chris Wilder has confirmed he is a major doubt for the trip to north London.

If he doesn’t make it then McDonald, who replaced Diamond at half-time on Saturday, will start.

“We aren’t sure Zander is going to be right for Tuesday night,” said Wilder.

“We are comfortable and confident that Rod McDonald comes in and makes his full League debut for us.

“We will give Zander as much time and opportunity to be ready because he is an important player for us.

“He did come off as a precaution on Saturday, and we will wait and see what Monday brings, but if he doesn’t make it then we are comfortable that Rod can go in and do a good job for us.”

Wilder revealed that Diamond’s injury isn’t one to worry about, and that he also expects McDonald to stake his claim for a regular starting place.

“If Zander does miss Tuesday, then he will be fit for Saturday,” said the Cobblers boss.

“We are then confident Rod will do well, and then Zander has an issue as he will have a problem getting back in the team.

“That is how we want it, and we want copmpetition for places.”

Diamond aside, Wilder has no other injury concerns ahead of the trip to Barnet, who have lost their opening two league games.