PROVING he is a big fan of democracy, Aidy Boothroyd has revealed he will ask the Cobblers players who should be captain before handing out the armband.
Kelvin Langmead has been the man calling the coin toss in pre-season and Boothroyd has been impressed with the centre-back’s leadership qualities.
Langmead, who cuts a leaner figure compared to last season, scored in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to a Spurs 11 and maintained his ‘goal machine’ credentials with another in the victory over a West Ham side on Tuesday night.
But Boothroyd has yet to guarantee who will hold the role this season and will canvas the views of his squad before making a decision ahead of the first competitive game, against Cardiff City on August 14.
Clarke Carlisle captained the side for every minute of his loan spell last season, providing much-needed direction to a team who were on a major downward spiral.
Langmead will have picked up some tips on the art from Carlisle, who remains an outside bet to rejoin a club whose Football League status he played such a key role in preserving.
But for now, armband duties rest with Langmead, at least until the results of the dressing-room election have been confirmed.
“He (Langmead) may be (the captain),” said the Cobblers boss. “No decision’s been made on that.
“I gave it to Kelvin and he’s just sort or run with it really because he’s been here one of the longest and he is a whole-hearted player and I like that about him.
“He’s probably top goalscorer in pre-season and he certainly knows where the goal is so he can play a number of positions. He’s honest, he’s genuine.
“I’ll be asking the lads who they think should be the captain and we’ll decide from there. I think that’s important.”
Northampton struggled against a youthful Spurs side at Sixfields last weekend, slipping to a disappointing defeat.
But Boothroyd was impressed with the strength shown in adversity by certain members of the Cobblers squad and the way they recovered to turn in a convincing display against the Irons four days later.
While the manager is looking for pros in the pre-season friendlies (good combination play, a reduction in errors, fitness) he is far more concerned with the cons, and he feels the selection of elite young Premier League sides was ideal in discovering the shortcomings of his new-look Northampton squad.
He said: “One of the things I think you learn in games like this is when you are getting the run-around; you look at who are the voices and who the ones are that get other people going.
“I think we’ve got a number of players who have got that little bit of edge and who aren’t afraid to upset anybody.”
Anthony Charles, who is likely to partner Langmead in central defence when the campaign gets under way next week, provided the pre-season view from the playing side.
He feels the games have been principally exercises in retaining focus.
“When you’re playing these teams from a higher level they keep the ball a lot and pass it around a lot,” he said.
“So the key element is concentration. We’ve had a lot of practice in terms of that in these last few games.”