Chris Hackett has left the Cobblers after signing a deal to join Town’s Sky Bet League Two rivals Barnet on loan until the end of the season.
The former Oxford United and Millwall flyer has found his first-team opportunities at the Cobblers limited over the past 12 months, and the 32-year-old has decided to move on to a fresh challenge.
Hackett joins a Barnet side that are 16th in league two, but just eight points adrift of the promotion play-off places, and Bees manager Martin Allen will be hoping he can supply the ammunition for his strikers John Akinde and Aaron McLean.
The Cobblers’ change of playing style implemented by Wilder at the start of 2015 has really affected Hackett, with his more traditional wide man style not suited to the system Town now play, where the attacking players are encouraged to roam all over the pitch.
Hackett, who has been on the transfer list since May, is the last remaining player in the Cobblers squad that wasn’t initially signed by Wilder, and the Town boss was full of praise for the player who has made 138 appearances and scored 12 goals in the claret and white since being signed by Aidy Boothroyd in the summer of 2012.
“Chris has been a great professional, a great lad to have around the place, but he has found it difficult to force his way into the team since we changed things around in January,” said Town boss Wilder.
“But I have always used Chris because of his attitude, and I was a little bit surprised that nobody came in for him at the start of the season, but there has been quite a lot of interest in the past week or two.
“At his age, Chris needs to be playing first team football, and we can’t guarantee that with Ricky Holmes, Nicky Adams, Sam Hoskins, Lawson D’Ath and Alfie Potter here.
“Chris will struggle to find his way into the team, so I have no problems with him moving as that frees up a couple of quid for us cash-wise until the end of the season and I wish Chris all the best.
“He is a really good guy, and it was never a personal decision, it was always a football decision with us not involving him.”
Evan Horwood is another Town player that has attracted interest, and Wilder said: “We are waiting to see if the interest we received is backed up on Evan.”