Richards the man to decide if he stays on the spot for Cobblers

Marc Richards saw his penalty in the 2-1 win against Swindon Town saved by goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux
Marc Richards saw his penalty in the 2-1 win against Swindon Town saved by goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux

Boss Justin Edinburgh admits he hasn’t discussed the Cobblers’ penalty taking situation with skipper Marc Richards.

The Town top scorer has failed to net with Town’s two most recent penalty awards, firing over the bar in stoppage time of the 2-1 defeat at Walsall, and then seeing his effort saved in the 2-1 win over Swindon Town.

I am never going to criticise players who want to take penalties, because they are brave people that want to take them, not everybody does. We will assess it as we go along, but as long as Rico keeps scoring that’s all that matters

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

It has led to discussions among supporters as to whether the Cobblers’ 11-goal top scorer will take the next one that is awarded to the team, and ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood Town Edinburgh admits it’s something he’s been thinking about too, but feels it is a decision that must be made by Richards himself.

“It is in the forefront of my mind, and I am sure it is Marc’s, but we haven’t actually spoken about it,” said the Cobblers boss.

“I think there is another player who is willing and able to take a penalty, and everybody is aware he wants to take them, so I am sure you’ll see that when a penalty becomes available.”

Richards has made up for his penalty misses with other crucial goals, netting from open play in the 3-1 win over Chesterfield and in the 2-2 draw at Southend United last weekend, and his overall play has been excellent.

He has also come up with trumps for the Cobblers by scoring crucial penalties in the past.

Edinburgh is a huge admirer of the player and never had any doubt Richards would respond to the penalty misses in a positive manner.

“I have spoken about Rico before, and yes there have been two penalty misses, but the second one didn’t come back to haunt us, and the strike at Southend on Saturday makes up for them,” said the Cobblers boss.

“I am never going to criticise players who want to take penalties, because they are brave people that want to take them, not everybody does.

“We will assess it as we go along, but as long as Rico keeps scoring that’s all that matters.”

One player who might be putting his hand up to take a spot-kick in the future is Richards’ fellow striker Michael Smith, but he too says the ball is very much in the Town captain’s court.

The 25-year-old is forging a good attacking partnership with Richards having signed on loan from Portsmouth, but admits he hasn’t broached the subject of spot-kicks with his new team-mate.

“I haven’t mentioned it, but I am sure it is something we might talk about,” said Smith, who is once again set to partner Richards in attack in the Sky Bet League One clash at the Highbury Stadium.

“But if Marc wants to take the next one, he is the penalty taker.

“He’s missed two, but I have missed a fair few in my career as well and I know the only thing you want to do is step back up and take another penalty, so it is completely up to Rico.”