Hondermarck ready to step up and fill the void after lively debut cameo for Cobblers

Will HondermarckWill Hondermarck
Will Hondermarck
‘There's no point taking a risk and rushing it because a step backwards could be very costly.’

Will Hondermarck is ready to step up and make his first start for the Cobblers against Grimsby Town this weekend after being handed his debut in midweek.

The 22-year-old has had to bide his time since joining Town in January but finally got the call when sent on in place of Shaun McWilliams shortly after the restart during Tuesday’s frustrating 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon.

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Hondermarck will need time to get up to full speed but he was bright and busy during his cameo, and so nearly sneaked in a late winner when his well-struck volley deflected a fraction wide.

"I'm really pleased to make my first appearance,” said the central midfielder. “When you have been out for so long, all you want to do is get back on the pitch and get that feeling back.

"Getting on for 30, 40 minutes was very important for me and I thought I had won it near the end! The minute I struck it, I thought it was going in but it just took a slight nick."

Following two months out, Hondermarck will not take undue risks with his fitness, however after injuries to McWilliams and Ben Fox, his services may be required more than previously thought in the coming weeks.

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He added: "It's important to take it step by step with my fitness and there's no point taking a risk and rushing it because a step backwards could be very costly.

"We will take it easy but I felt really good on the pitch and there were no issues afterwards. Now it's about resting, getting back to training and we'll see where we're at before the game on Saturday.”

Manager Jon Brady will be hoping Hondermarck can provide the key to unlocking Grimsby's defence on Saturday after Town’s attack was again blunted in midweek.

"Teams are coming here and making it difficult for us,” Hondermarck continued. “They see our position in the league and naturally a lot of sides will drop off and give us the respect that we have earned.

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"But it's up to us now to find a different way to beat teams. We will keep working hard and try and be more creative to break them down.

"It’s obviously disappointing because we always want to take three points and we expect to win and we accept that responsibility

"We're still in a good position and we spoke about that among ourselves afterwards. There are 16 games left to play and that's a lot of games and a lot of points available.

"We will take it week by week, game by game, and we have a lot of time to solidify our position in the top three."

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Cobblers dominated Tuesday’s game and made virtually all of the running, but once again clear-cut chances were few and far between. A bright start fizzled out before things became frantic in the second-half as they pushed for a winner.

Hondermarck added: "I think it's natural when you're at home and you're expected to win and time is running out that you go for it and push a bit more than the opposition.

"We can always do better and we could have been smarter and tried different things but you want to take that responsibility when you get to 70, 80 minutes.

"We will reflect on it but it’s positive that we are keeping clean sheets because that way you always give yourself a chance and it gives us a platform to go on and win games.”