McWilliams already eying next milestone after bringing up his century for Cobblers

Midfielder celebrates landmark with overdue victory

By James Heneghan
Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:23 pm
Shaun McWilliams.
Shaun McWilliams.

Shaun McWilliams hopes he's far from done at the Cobblers after chalking up his 100th appearance for the club on Tuesday night.

The midfielder emerged through Northampton's academy and made his debut as an 18-year-old at Rochdale just under four years ago.

Injuries have not been kind to the tenacious, hard-working midfielder during his rise through the ranks but he's started 11 of Town's last 13 league games and made it a century of appearances for the club against Plymouth.

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“I’m lucky enough to be playing quite a lot at the minute,” said McWilliams. “I just want to stay in the team and give the team what I’ve got because we’re in a battle at the moment.

“Touch wood, I haven’t had too many injuries since I came back (from his long-term lay-off caused by a serious knee injury) and hopefully that continues.

“I want to stay injury-free and I’ve played quite a few games on the bounce, probably the most I have ever done, so if you look at it from that point of view, I am having a good season and I think I’m playing quite well and I just want to help the team.

"Without a few injures the 100th game would have come a lot sooner! But I'm delighted to make my 100th appearance and now I'll be looking at the next milestone. "

McWilliams celebrated the occasion in the best possible way as his midfielder partner Ryan Watson scored twice in a 2-0 victory over the Pilgrims, Town's first win in 12 games.

"Ryan has always been clinical but every shot he's taking at the moment is going in! If we get him into the right positions, he's going to score," added McWilliams.

"That win has been a long time coming. We'll enjoy tonight but we know we need to go again on Saturday and get two on the spin.

"I think we've had a few moments in the season where we've said we need to build on a performance and haven't been able to.

"But we'll look at what we did well and really try to build on it because we're in a situation now where we're fighting at the bottom and we do need to back it up with another win."

Jon Brady and his players were left demoralised by Saturday's defeat at Swindon but the caretaker boss quickly picked his squad up to clinch a much-needed win only four days later.

"His message has been the same throughout the time he's been here," McWilliams continued. "The performances are down to us but he's kept what he's said the same.

"There have been a few errors here and there and I also think there's a lack of confidence but he gave us the same message and I think we produced a performance that he wanted."