Defenders, be warned! Ricky Holmes 'finally feels sharp' and will 'take off the reins' for Cobblers

Ricky HolmesRicky Holmes
Ricky Holmes
'Finally, in training this week, I've felt sharp and I've started to dribble with the ball a bit more.'

League One defenders have been warned that Ricky Holmes 'finally feels sharp' and is ready to 'take off the reins' after easing his way back into competitive action.

The 33-year-old signed an appearance-based, short-term contract with Northampton last month after nearly two years out of the game due to persistent back problems.

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But after gradually working his way back to match sharpness, Holmes has started four of the last five games in all competitions, including Saturday's visit of Doncaster Rovers, and he's ready to get back to his explosive best.

"I've had two years off so obviously it was going to take me time to get back into it and I'm having to play catch-up with my fitness," he said. "But finally, in training this week, I've felt sharp and I've started to dribble with the ball a bit more.

"I said to myself that, for the first month, I'm going to be a little bit cautious because I had a horrendous two years and hopefully I've seen the back of that now.

"Now I want to get on the ball more and showcase what I can really do. The reins are coming off. In the last two weeks or so in training, I've started to get the ball at my feet, dribbling, whereas before I was just feeling myself in.

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"It was get the ball, pass it, get the ball, pass it but people know my game - it's about getting at players and dribbling with the ball. I hope to start doing that more and long may it continue - and hopefully I can get a few more left-backs subbed at half-time!

"I had one moment in the first-half when I cut inside and shot but I'm a bit out of practise! That's what I mean and that's where I want to be because I want to be in scoring positions. It hasn't really happened of late, although we have picked up results."