Academy players to be involved for Cobblers against MK Dons

‘We see it as an opportunity and a positive opportunity for players to get minutes.’
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Cobblers boss Jon Brady has confirmed that a number of academy players will be involved in tonight’s Bristol Street Motors Trophy tie with Milton Keynes Dons.

Already out of the competition, Northampton are set to field a mixture of senior players in need of game-time and youngsters seeking an opportunity to impress at Stadium MK this evening.

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"One or two might start and they’ll probably fill the bench as well,” confirmed Brady when asked about academy players being involved. “Being in and around the first-team is really important for them and their development.

Jacob ScottJacob Scott
Jacob Scott

"A couple are really pushing to show us what they can do and I feel it’s really important for the football club to keep that connection with the academy and the younger players.”

Northampton’s exit from the EFL Trophy was confirmed two weeks ago when Oxford United secured their qualification alongside MK Dons by thrashing Chelsea Under-21s 5-0, but Brady believes tonight’s game is still a useful one for his side.

"We don't see it as a game that we need to get out of the way," he added. "We see it as an opportunity and a positive opportunity for players to get minutes.

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"It's a chance to build up fitness and gain match sharpness in some players and it's also a chance for us to have a look at a few of the younger players so it's a mix of both.”

The home side will also field a much-changed team tonight, with MK Dons assistant head coach Ian Watson saying: "Any opportunity to play is something the players should relish.

"It's a good opportunity for us to have a look at some other players, and to have a look at a few of the youth players we've heard good things about. It's important they have an opportunity and that they can see there's a chance.

"I'm excited for the game, I think it will be a good game and gives us another chance to implement our concepts and ideas, which you'll see. We want a performance full of energy from people who think they should be in the shirt every week."