Cresswell to return for Cobblers’ trip to Hartlepool

Zander Diamond suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury during Saturday's win over Morecambe
Zander Diamond suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury during Saturday's win over Morecambe

Ryan Cresswell will be restored to the Cobblers’ starting line-up for the trip to Hartlepool United following his one-game suspension.

Manager Chris Wilder faced the prospect of the difficult decision between Cresswell, Lee Collins and Zander Diamond, who returned to the team in place of Cresswell for the weekend win over Morecambe.

But Diamond injured his hamstring in that game and although his central defensive shoes were capably filled by Ben Tozer, it is Cresswell who will return to the starting 11.

“It’s a recurrence of what happened with his (Diamond’s) hamstring before,” explained Wilder. “He went to push off on his left leg and he’s felt it tighten.

“It’s disappointing for him because he’s worked extremely hard to get fit and is an outstanding centre-half at this level.

“Ben Tozer did very well when he came on at the weekend and we’ve got Tom Newey who can do a job for us there as well but Ryan Cresswell will come back in.

“His performances were good before the sending-off and the team performances were good as well.”

The game at Hartlepool is the Cobblers’ first midweek fixture since the FA Cup first-round replay at Rochdale on November 18.

The Tuesday night assignments start to pick up over the back end of the season, with three further midweek games following the trip to Victoria Park.

But Wilder will not many any tweaks to his team to accommodate any weary legs.

“I’ll look a bit of a mug if I start changing the team around after I’ve spent months moaning about not having a settled side,” he said.

“Players are playing with confidence and we’re establishing partnerships in good areas so we want that to continue.

“The players that are waiting to come into the side are going to have to bide their time.”

As well as Diamond, Wilder will also be without Kaid Mohamed, who is recovering from foot surgery and Ian Morris (knee), while Hartlepool have lost the services of Matthew Bates to a dead leg, and have Tommy Miller (calf) and Stuart Parnaby (knee) on the long-term injured list.