Earning an extension and playing in front of fans again are motivating McWilliams
Midfielder hopes to have his contract extended at the end of the season
Trying to earn a contract extension to stay at the Cobblers for another season is providing Shaun McWilliams with plenty of motivation.
The 22-year-old midfielder signed a new one-year deal whilst he was sidelined with a long-term knee injury last summer.
He returned in October and has forced his way into the team on a regular basis this season, making 34 appearances and 31 starts in all competitions.
And in the current climate, with so many footballers currently unattached due to the pandemic, proving his fitness and form consistently has been important for McWilliams in his bid to win a contract extension.
"Obviously it's a big motivation," he admitted. "There are a lot of players without clubs at the moment and it's a tough time, but hopefully we're coming towards the end of lockdown now and things will get start to get better..
"But in football terms, I'm just trying to play as many minutes and games as I can and then hopefully things will happen off the back of that.
"The one disappointment this season has been that I've stayed injury free but there's been no fans in the ground. That has been difficult but I would love to continue playing when the fans are back - hopefully next season!"
McWilliams also seems to be enjoying playing under his current boss, staring 17 of the Jon Brady's 18 games in charge.
Brady said on Tuesday that the club has every intention of keeping McWilliams next season.
"When a new manager comes in, it can be a breath of fresh air around the place and everyone's buzzing," McWilliams added.
"For me, personally, I know what the manager wants from me and I'm just trying to do what he's asking.
"As long as I do what he asks me to do, I can then shine off the back of that."