Ryan Cresswell was “totally buzzing” to be back in action for the Cobblers on Saturday and the centre-back is now ready to fight for a regular spot in the side.
Cresswell has made 29 appearances this season but he’s found himself sat on the sidelines in recent weeks with his last start coming in the 2-2 draw against MK Dons on January 9.
He was again on the bench for Saturday’s game against York but with Zander Diamond forced off through injury on 37 minutes, Cresswell was called upon by manager Chris Wilder.
“I was totally buzzing to be back out there on the field with the lads,” said the 28-year-old afterwards.
“Playing is what we work for all week and I’m just happy to get my chance again.
“Once you get the shirt you’ve got to keep it and I hope I can, but the manager’s got tough decisions to make.”
Diamond was visibly frustrated to be taken off after a clash of heads, but Wilder was not ready to take any risks.
Cresswell added: “Zander wasn’t too happy as you wouldn’t be.
“It was a nasty collision and an awkward fall and the medical staff made the decision.
“He wasn’t really happy to come off but how many times do you see players get ordered off.
“It’s a shame really because I thought Zander did really well, but it’s a team game and a squad game and I don’t think much changed when I came on because the team flow stayed the same.”
The game itself saw Northampton claim a sixth straight league win as they battled both York and the elements to run out 2-0 winners with goals from John-Joe O’Toole and Marc Richards.
And Cresswell felt his side were full value for victory, adding: “I thought we were better in both boxes and it’s always nice to get a clean sheet.
“The wind played havoc both halves and then the rain came and it swirled around, but I think overall we dealt with it better which is why we won.
“We had to get used to it, as both sides did, but we managed to control the game and I think it was a professional performance from the lads and it was good to get the three points.”
Town’s task was made easier by Luke Hendrie’s dismissal with the York man shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Ricky Holmes moments after the Cobblers had taken a 2-0 lead.
“I didn’t think it was harsh,” said Cresswell. “Personally I thought it was a late lunge and pretty reckless.
“Maybe he lost his head because they had just gone 2-0 down.
“It was a pretty stupid from him given the conditions and the fact they were away from home and maybe he regrets it.”