Holmes expects to play in a central role for Cobblers

Experienced midfielder played as a number 10 during cameo appearance against MK Dons
Ricky Holmes' stoppage-time winner at Stevenage effectively secured the title in 2016.Ricky Holmes' stoppage-time winner at Stevenage effectively secured the title in 2016.
Ricky Holmes' stoppage-time winner at Stevenage effectively secured the title in 2016.

Cobblers midfielder Ricky Holmes expects to feature predominantly in a central role rather than out wide once he gets up to full speed this season.

The 33-year-old played as a winger in his previous spell at the club but Keith Curle's 3-4-1-2 formation does not make room for natural wide midfielders with wing-backs instead creating the width.

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Holmes could potentially do a job at wing-back but he's more like to feature in the number 10 position, as he did when he came on against MK Dons last week.

"At the minute I think I'll be playing through the middle due to the formation the manager plays with the 3-5-2 and sometimes having two forwards behind the target man," said Holmes.

"I see myself in the middle rather than wing-back because defending has never been my strong point - I'll leave that to Nicky! I have no idea how he's managed to get himself in that position but he's done wonders playing there for Bury and then here.

"But I don't see myself as a wing-back, I think I'll be through the middle."

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Holmes also admits he might have to take things easy given his lengthy lay-off and well-documented back problems, adding: "I know the gaffer has said I've already been knocking on his door - and I do want to play every game - but if he drops or rests me, I think I might just have to take it on the chin!

"I was never able to do that before but any minutes I get on the pitch now I'm going to cherish. When you've got the prospect of retirement coming at you, it really gets you down. You want to retire when you're ready, you don't want injury to force you to retire. Hopefully I've got many years ahead of me."

The announcement of Holmes' return to the Cobblers last week generated a huge reaction on social media which justified his decision.

"It makes you realise how much you miss the game," he continued. "I wasn't involved at Sheffield United and I was never really going to play because they did so well. You become a forgotten man.

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"You get a buzz off people mentioning your name, especially in the football industry, so to know that everyone was so pleased to see me sign again, it gave me a big lift and made me realise that I had made the right choice and signed for the right club and it was worth going through the rehab.

"It's a shame the fans can't be there to see games but hopefully, in time, they will be. I think we've taken fans for granted in the past but they give you so much more and every footballer will realise that now."