McWilliams looking forward to O'Toole reunion in FA Cup tie at Burton

Cobblers youngster Shaun McWilliams is looking forward to locking horns with old midfield partner John-Joe O'Toole in next month's FA Cup third-round tie at Burton Albion.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 5:32 pm
John-Joe O'Toole

Unfortunate timing with injury for one or the other meant they were not always regular partners in Town's midfield - starting 21 games together in the three seasons they were both at the club - but O'Toole was an influential figure as McWilliams progressed through the youth ranks.

The draw against League One Burton was somewhat underwhelming for Cobblers fans but the possible presence of O'Toole, who's played at centre-back at times this season, in the Brewers team will give it some extra spice.

McWilliams said: "We'll take the game against Burton when it comes and we're looking forward to it and we'll do everything possible to try and get through.

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"I'm sure we'll see a smile on JJ's face! He has done a lot for the club and he's still one of the favourites for the fans here.

"I saw some of his goals and I trained alongside him when I was coming through so I've seen him day-to-day and he's a top player and a top lad and I'm looking forward to seeing him again.

"When you train together you come up against each other all the time. He's got a bit of a temper on him and we had a good battle but he's definitely had a positive impact on how I play and I'm happy to have taken that off him."

McWilliams returned to the Cobblers team for last week's EFL Trophy Tie at Portsmouth and he made up one of six academy players in the squad. Another was 18-year-old Michael Harding, who made his debut in the second-half.

"You can see the rewards are there if you train well and if you impress because the gaffer isn't afraid to put you in," McWilliams added. "

"We saw Michael come on and Jay (Williams) also got some minutes and it was good for them. I'm sure Michael's happy and it was good to see him on the pitch."