Brady explains why he allowed in-form Smith to leave Cobblers for Orient in the summer

'First and foremost, the wellbeing of a player is the most important thing and that's what we discussed with him.'

Friday, 26th November 2021, 12:15 pm
Harry Smith.

Cobblers boss Jon Brady has explained why he reluctantly allowed in-form striker Harry Smith to leave Sixfields in the summer and join League Two rivals Leyton Orient.

The 26-year-old never showed his full potential with Northampton after signing from Macclesfield in 2019 and spent the second half of last season on loan with SPL outfit Motherwell.

He still had a year left on his contract once returning to Sixfields in May but after speaking with his newly-appointed manager, it became clear to Brady that a change was needed.

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And the move back to London, where he started his career, has revitalised Smith. The striker has nine league goals already this season - more than he managed in his entire tme at Northampton - and heads back to Sixfields with Orient this weekend in high spirits after scoring a sensational volley last weekend, one of his two goals against Sutton United.

"It was a real tough one with Harry," admitted Brady. "He's shown what he can do this season and there's always been talent within him.

"But speaking to him in the summer, it was very clear that he had a few things going on and he needed to be back home.

"First and foremost, the wellbeing of a player is the most important thing and that's what we discussed with him.

"As you get older, you can't force things. You've got to look at the human side with people first of all and that's what we did and we had an understanding.

"I'm glad to see Harry doing so well, I really am, and he seems in a good headspace at the moment, but for 90 minutes on Saturday, we're very very keen for him not to do so well!"

Smith's goals have been central to Orient's strong start to the season. They are eighth in the table and will leapfrog Cobblers with victory this weekend.

"It'll be a tough test and it should be a real battle with the way they play," added Brady. "They're a team who are unbeaten in eight and have only lost two games all season.

"They're in every single game they play and they sit just behind us in the league, but we've been strong and our home form is really, really good at the moment."