Northampton’s busy January is unlikely to get any quieter in the closing few days of the transfer window with manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hoping to bring in at least one striker, possibly two, before Wednesday’s 11pm deadline.
Seven new faces have walked through the door over the past four weeks as Hasselbaink continues to give his squad a much-needed makeover, but the Cobblers remain alarmingly short up front where they are one injury to top scorer Chris Long away from disaster.
Despite their large squad, Long and Alex Revell are the only recognised strikers on the club’s books and while John-Joe O’Toole has been used in a more advanced role of late and Sam Hoskins could also play there, Hasselbaink knows the importance of reinforcing his front line over these next few days.
Northampton, who are still very much embroiled in a relegation battle, have spent the whole of January looking at several striking options, both as potential loan moves and on a permanent basis, but as yet they’ve not brought anyone in, though Hasselbaink is hopeful that will change.
“Yes, you can expect to see movement,” he confirmed. “I hope so anyway. I can’t tell you who yet but we are working very hard to get some more faces up top.
“We need another striker and give some competition for Chris Long and add in that position. If you look at the majority of clubs in the league, they have four recognised strikers in the building.
“At the moment, we only have two. I would like to have four recognised strikers here. I don’t know if that will happen but that’s my plan.”
As for the seven players who have already come in this month, six have made an immediate impact. Jack Bridge is the only one who hasn’t – he’s yet to be involved since signing from Southend United – while Shay Facey has perhaps been the most impressive of those to have made the switch to Sixfields.
Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, left-back Joe Bunney and central defender Jordan Tunrbull have also produced excellent performances and contributed significantly to the team’s recent revival while wingers Hildeberto Pereira and Gboly Ariyibi have shown flashes of their potential from the bench.
“Those boys are giving us something different,” added Hasselbaink. “They are important additions to the squad and they’ve settled in well and we’re going to try and kick them on and improve them.
If you look at the majority of clubs in the league, they have four recognised strikers in the building. At the moment, we only have two.
“We want to make them even better. There have been moments where they can improve.
“I had to play Bunney in a different position on Saturday because they have a very strong right side and I think he did really well and he also set up the goal, so the new signings are doing well.”
As for potential outgoings, Hasselbaink is aware of the need to trim his squad with more than 30 players currently on the books. He continued: “The squad is too big at the moment so I do expect a few to leave because it’ll be very different for them to get game-time here and I think some players will go.”