Wilder delighted with Cobblers’ transfer window business

INSTANT IMPACT - James Collins has scored twice in three games since signing for the Cobblers on loan

INSTANT IMPACT - James Collins has scored twice in three games since signing for the Cobblers on loan

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Manager Chris Wilder has admitted the January transfer window couldn’t really have gone any better for the Cobblers.

A busy month saw four players signed, with four also leaving the club.

Danny Rose

Danny Rose

Leaving via the exit door were loan players Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ryan Watosn, who returned to Sheffield United and Leicester City respectively, while Chris Hackett and Evan Horwood have also both left on loan, to Barnet and Grimsby Town.

Coming in the other way are three loan signings in the shape of striker James Collins, midfielder Lee Martin and central defender Luke Prosser, while another midfielder, Danny Rose, has signed a short-term deal until the end of the season.

Most observers would agree it is fair to say the Cobblers squad is stronger at the end of January than it was at the start of the month, and Wilder is delighted with the business he and chairman Kelvin Thomas have done.

“I have been in the game as a manager for quite a while now, and I wouldn’t have thought it could go any better,” said Wilder, when asked for his thoughts on the Cobblers’ transfer dealings.

Lee Martin

Lee Martin

“You always look at the two aspects of bringing players in.

“You look at the quality of the players you are bringing in, and the mentality, and all four of them are outstanding additions to a really good group.

“Financially, we have kept our powder dry as well and kept a little bit back (the loan window re-opens next week).

“We have had a little bit of success in the cup competitions, we have off-loaded a couple of players and Ryan Watson went back (to Leicester) as well.

Luke Prosser

Luke Prosser

“So financially we have done good business, and the chairman has backed it all which I really appreciate.

“I knew that would happen because of his desire to do well, but as always, as I said in all the interviews leading up to Kelvin coming in, he drives a hard bargain with agents and other clubs.

“In every one of those deals we have got really good value for money, and I think that is really important for us.

“There are some big-hitting clubs in this division who are really going for it, but we are ambitious too and I believe that myself and the chairman have used the money very wisely.

“We have added, and the group now is as strong as it has been all season, which is a good place to be in going into the last 19 games.”

With the Cobblers flying high at the top of Sky Bet League Two, there is always the fear that bringing new places in could affect squad spirit in a detrimental way.

Wilder is certain that won’t be the case at Sixfields.

“The players we have brought in are all decent athletes, they are all at the right age, and they have all played at a higher level or achieved promotions in their careers,” said the Town boss.

“It is important they have that experience going into the last 19 games of the season and we can’t get away from the fact that there are going to be pressure games there, big games that have hell of a lot on them.

“They know they need to know how to get through those games and those situations, and all three of those players have done that. They fit in with the way we play, they are good characters.

“People talk about not upsetting the chemistry of the group, and people talk about looking back at signings that have upset a group, and it is important that we got that balance right. I don’t think there will be a problem with that.”

The Cobblers return to action for the first time in two weeks on Saturday when they entertain bottom-of-the-table York City at Sixfields (ko 3pm).