Wilder to stick with tried and tested as Cobblers look to seal the deal

Lee Martin hasn't been seen since being hooked at half-time against Newport County on Good Friday (picture by Sharon Lucey)
Lee Martin hasn't been seen since being hooked at half-time against Newport County on Good Friday (picture by Sharon Lucey)

Chris Wilder plans to stick with those who have played the biggest role in helping his side to the brink of promotion in their remaining six games of the season as the Northampton manager explained his reasoning behind Lee Martin’s recent absence.

The on-loan Millwall man impressed against Carlisle United last month but has only played 110 minutes of football in five Northampton games since, including missing out on the last two squads altogether.

Wilder admitted to having a private chat with Martin prior to the trip to Carlisle during which the Cobblers boss said he wanted ‘more out of’ the 29-year-old.

Despite that, though, Martin has struggled to find any consistency, and after he was again dropped from the squad to face Notts County on Saturday, Wilder said: “It’s a selection situation.

“We make a decision and we made one to go with the majority of the players that have got us into this position.

“There’s only really John (Marquis) and Luke Prosser that have come in recently, along with Collo (James Collins).

“So we’ve gone with those who have really got us where we are and they’re the ones who need to be involved to see us over the line.”

Cobblers could get over the finishing line on Saturday when they face Bristol Rovers.

A win over in-form Rovers would guarantee promotion, regardless of results elsewhere, and it could also clinch the title if Oxford United lose at Crawley.

“I thought it was very unlikely that both Bristol Rovers and Accrington would get the results that suit us and obviously we didn’t win but it wasn’t for the want of trying,” said Wilder on Saturday’s draw with County.

“They were quite happy to hang on and settle for a point but I thought my players were desperate to win the game of football and they showed that spirit and that drive at the end of the game.

“It’s a bit of a strange situation that we’re all in. We’re in a bit of a limbo because we know it’ll happen, it’s just a question of when, so hopefully we can do that this week.

“I think the chairman will be made up because he’ll be able to sell a few more seats in that stand and have a bit more time to sell it out and get a little bit more money into the club!”