After adding another man-of-the-match display to his growing collection on Saturday, Cobblers attacker Sam Hoskins revealed how playing in a different position has significantly improved his game this season.
Having starred in the 3-0 defeat to Peterborough United and then impressed again at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, the 23-year-old has been a revelation since Rob Page’s arrival.
Occupying a free role in Page’s favoured 4-3-3 system, Hoskins is afforded the licence to roam and pick up the ball from deep before using his raw pace and trickery to drive at opposition defences.
That in turn creates space for other players to flourish, such as JJ Hooper and Paul Anderson who also both sparkled in Saturday’s 4-2 victory.
“I’m playing a different position for me and the way we play it allows me to find pockets and then when I do get on the ball in spaces, it’s up to me to make something happen,” explained Hoskins.
“I’m pleased with the way I’m playing and it’s credit to the team because the way we play allows me to go and express myself.
“The manager believes in me and he’s allowed me to play with a lot of freedom and obviously on the flip side, I’ve got to do my defensive work.
“I’m really enjoying my football at the moment and I feel like I’m playing well.”
As an added bonus, Hoskins bagged a thoroughly merited first goal of the season on Saturday when sending a sweet volley into the bottom corner.
“I got my goal too which I needed so now hopefully I can push on,” he said.
I’m playing a different position for me and the way we play it allows me to find pockets and then when I do get on the ball in spaces, it’s up to me to make something happen.
“My aim was to keep it on target. It all happened so quickly but it came down to me nicely and I put it away.
“It was a bit overdue for me but the main thing is that if we’re playing well and getting results, and to then contribute with a goal is a bonus.”
After an indifferent run of form, including defeat to local rivals Peterborough, Saturday’s win represented a much-needed boost for the Cobblers, who are now back up to eighth in Sky Bet League One.
Hoskins added: “I think we needed a big result and I think we played well and deserved it.
“The most important thing was to bounce back.
“The two goals we conceded could have been avoided so that’s disappointing but three points and four goals away from home is brilliant.
“We could have scored five or six from set-pieces alone so that’s credit to Jak (McCourt) because he puts in a good ball that’s ready to be headed in.
“We’re making a lot of chances and four goals away from home is really pleasing.”