Hasselbaink happy as 'important' midfielder Crooks returns for Charlton clash

Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks
Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks

Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says he is delighted to have midfielder Matt Crooks available for the Good Friday showdown with Charlton Athletic at Sixfields (ko 3pm).

The 23-year-old is in the frame for a recall for the date with the Addicks, having served his three-match ban for a third sending off of the season at Bristol Rovers earlier this month.

Crooks has been sorely missed while he has been sidelined, with the relegation-haunted Cobblers losing to Rotherham United and Fleetwood Town, and drawing with Shrewsbury Town.

With John-Joe O'Toole still suspended for this weekend's Easter double header against Charlton and then Peterborough United on Easter Monday, former Rangers man Crooks is likely to go straight back into the starting line-up, and that is a boost for Hasselbaink.

Asked about the player's return, the Cobblers boss said: "It is obviously very important to have him back, as we have missed him.

"He brings that energy into the middle of the park, and that commitment, and he can attack as he covers a lot of ground. So it is very important for us."

There are no fresh injury concerns for the Cobblers from the weekend defeat at Fleetwood, and there is good news on injured pair Aaron Pierre and Aaron Phillips, who have both been out long term with thigh injuries.

Pierre was back out with the first team squad at Moulton College this morning, going through the warm-ups, while Phillips is also back out running again.

Both are still some way off being fit for first team duty though.