Austin says Cobblers ‘are always in the market’ after McWilliams blow as deadline looms

Dean Austin consoles a devastated Shaun McWilliams after injury curtailed his afternoon. Picture: Sharon Lucey
Dean Austin consoles a devastated Shaun McWilliams after injury curtailed his afternoon. Picture: Sharon Lucey

The injury picked by Shaun McWilliams in Saturday’s opening-day defeat to Lincoln City will not necessarily force manager Dean Austin to dip back into the transfer market this week ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

The 19-year-old midfielder pulled up midway through the first-half during Town’s 1-0 defeat and cut a distraught figure as he gingerly made his way off the pitch to warm applause before being consoled by his manager on the touchline.

The Town boss revealed in his post-match interview that McWilliams has suffered a hamstring problem and he will go for a scan to discover the extent of the injury later today (Monday).

“He’s pulled his hamstring, which is strange,” confirmed Austin. “It’s weird how that’s happened because we’ve worked hard in pre-season but we’ve been very careful in making sure we’re doing the right numbers on the right days to ensure everyone is in the right condition.

“Shaun has been absolutely fantastic and he’s flown in pre-season, he was the last person in our team that I’d expect something like that to happen to.”

The academy graduate was thought to be an integral part of Austin’s thinking this season but despite potentially losing the teenager for the foreseeable future, he may not feel the need to reinforce his central midfield options with Matt Crooks, John-Joe O’Toole and Sam Foley among those competing for a place.

“I think we’ll take a view on that,” he added. “We’re always in the market and we’re always looking for good players and if we find one that fits in, then we’ll do something.

“But I’m only going to sign the right players who’ll help move us forward. Shaun will have a scan on Monday and then we’ll find out the damage.

“But we’ve got enough players in there, JJ slotted back in there and he’s got a wealth of experience and we’ve got Crooksy and Sam Foley ready to do a job so it’s not quite panic stations but we’ll have a look at it.”