Brady pays tribute to McWilliams after midfielder reaches 100 appearances for Cobblers

Watson also praised after impressive goalscoring run

Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:49 pm
Shaun McWilliams.

Cobblers boss Jon Brady has paid tribute to Shaun McWilliams after the young midfielder racked up his 100th appearance for the club on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old only recovered from a long-term injury lay-off in October but has been a regular in the side since then, starting 16 of Town's last 21 games in all competitions.

He has been in excellent form for the majority of those games too, including on Tuesday when Cobblers beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 at the PTS.

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"I'd like to make a special mention for Shaun's 100th appearance," said Brady. "Like all the team, I thought he was excellent the other night and it's fantastic to have a young man from Northampton reaching 100 appearances.

"He absolutely loves this club and he more than anyone will be desperate to keep us in League One.

"His tenacity and his effort, he's growing in stature week by week and I think the clear messages we're giving him can really help improve and enhance and develop his game."

McWilliams had the limelight stolen from him by another midfielder on Tuesday with Ryan Watson scoring twice and taking his tally to the season for five.

"I think he's playing with real confidence," Brady added. "He's playing higher up the pitch and he's getting those opportunities in and around the box.

"He's a very good finisher and he's an intelligent player. He's also got good speed but his all-round game is very strong.

"We were hoping he would thrive and he is thriving at the moment. He looks like he's just really enjoying his football and that's what we want him to do because when you're enjoying your football, you express yourself more and you feel a bit of a freedom to and play.

"We want him to have that freedom in his role. He's working ever so hard for the team out of possession."

Watson is one of several players to have improved under the new management team. Fraser Horsfall and Mark Marshall are two others who have also benefitted from Brady's influence.

The Town boss continued: "I think there's now a clarity with the players because they know their roles and responsibilities inside and out.

"When you get that and you know your role and you get those connections with your team-mates all around the pitch, I feel that will only make us stronger as a unit and a group.

"I feel that's starting to come together and now we just need to be consistent in our actions and in our delivery, as simple as that."