Gray backing Coke to be big hit

Stuart Gray can't wait to have a fully-fit Giles Coke at his disposal – and he is sure the Cobblers fans are going to take an instant shine to the former Mansfield man.

Town signed the midfielder in the summer, with a tribunal recently ruling that they are going to eventually have to pay 70,000 for his services.

Gray believes that is a very fair price to pay for a player he rates, very highly.

"I think it's a fair price as we are buying potential," said the Cobblers boss.

"We had him watched at Wolves and I know other managers, whose opinion I value, that think he is a very good player.

And he added: "He will bring competition to the squad, but the thing about Giles is he can pass off both feet.

"He can hit a diagonal ball from left to right and vice-versa, but what he will also do is get in the box.

"I am a great believer that competition is healthy, and whether it be Coke and Dyer in midfield, or Coke and Russell or Coke and Brad Johnson, who knows?

"I don't think you can have enough quality midfield players, and that is what he will do, give us a little bit of quality.

"Midfield players play a big part in the game, and if you can win your midfield battles then more often than not you will win matches."

Coke is at least out on the running track now, but Gray is not going to rush back a man he sees will be key to the Cobblers' fortunes for this season and many more to come.

"He is doing okay," said Gray. "Giles is one of those players that we don't want to see going back on the treatment table.

"He is in the hands of the medical team, Denis Casey and Stuart Barker are looking after him, and we want to get him involved as soon as we possibly can."