Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has praised teenage striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin for his mature performance in Saturday’s eye-catching 4-2 win at Morecambe.
The 18-year-old made only his second Football League start, leading the attacking line in the absence of skipper Marc Richards, who was left on the substitutes’ bench after suffering a side strain in training last week.
With Ivan Toney having been sold to Newcastle, Sheffield United loanee Calvert-Lewin is the back-up main striker at Sixfields, and Wilder says he had no doubts the player would do the business at the Globe Arena.
“Marc had a little bit of a side strain, and had a bit of a struggle through last week, but I didn’t have any problems in putting Dominic in,” said the Cobblers boss.
“He has looked sharp in training, and he was outstanding on Saturday. It was a fantastic finish for his goal, and he fully deserved that for his performance.
“Dominic and Sam Hoskins at the top of the pitch were outstanding for us.”
Calvert-Lewin scored the Cobblers’ fourth at Morecambe - his first senior League goal - with a cheeky back-heeled finish from Alfie Potter’s low cross from the right.
He could have easily had a couple more, and he also linked the play very well, so much so that it’s not an exaggeration to say that Richards wasn’t really missed.
That could lead to a selection headache for Wilder ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leyton Orient to Sixfields, as if Richards is fully fit he has to decide whether or not to bring his captain and leading scorer back into the starting line-up, or stick with Calvert-Lewin.
“That is why we brought Dom to the club, because we have to have competition, and we have to have good players to go in,” said the Town manager
“These are difficult decisions we have to make.
“We will have to have a look at it, but if I do change the team it will be because I feel it is right, and if I don’t it will be because players deserve to go again.
“I would love to have loads more decisions like that.”
Wilder was a very happy man following Saturday’s victory, which was the Cobblers’ second on the spin following the 1-0 win over Oxford United, and he has now set his sights on making it three wins in a row when the table-topping Os come calling at the weekend.
“We will enjoy this, it’s a great away result against a good team that is flying, and it’s a good weekend for our players and supporters and they deserve it,” said the Cobblers boss.
“Hopefully we will get a decent crowd in yet again next Saturday, and we can show the same consistency in performance.
“We are on the front foot now, and we are going to go after another win on Saturday. We have won away from home, it’s a great result, but that said, we won’t be getting carried away.”