Trialists get another chance to shine for Cobblers at Burgess Hill

Trialists Sam Hoskins, Rod McDonald and Gozie Ugwu will get another chance to impress boss Chris Wilder when they feature for the Cobblers at Burgess Hill on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Strikers Hoskins and Ugwu have both scored goals in the wins over Sileby Rangers and Worthing, while McDonald has looked composed as a left-sided central defender.

Tuesday’s 5-2 win at Worthing provided much more of a test for the trio than the 1-0 win at Sileby had been, and Wilder is anticipating Burgess Hill will provide a tougher test again at the weekend.

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All three trialists have impressed Wilder during pre-season training to date, and the manager insists they all have a genuine chance of winning a contract at Sixfields as he looks to finalise his squad for the season ahead.

Sam HoskinsSam Hoskins
Sam Hoskins

“We are looking at them (the trialists) and are not wasting our time with any of them,” said Wilder, who had also been running the rule over Sheffield FC midfielder Joel Purkiss.

“We need to fill some spots in our group, and none of them have done themselves any harm in the way they have gone about things and the way they have played in the games.”

Former Yeovil front man Hoskins has scored in both games, while Ugwu opened his account with an early strike in the win at Worthing, before leaving the pitch suffering with a tight hamstring.

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He is expected to shrug the strain off to feature on Saturday, and Wilder believes the pacy striker could be someone that could settle at Northampton.

Rod McDonaldRod McDonald
Rod McDonald

Ugwu is only 22, but has already been at six different clubs.

His goalscoring record is good, with 20 goals scored in 53 starts and 27 substitute appearances, and Wilder believes the player now needs to settle down for a lengthy spell at a club and build his career, and hinted there’s a chance that could be at Northampton.

“Gozie is a young player that has scored goals, but he has possibly had two many clubs for a youngster,” said the Cobblers boss.

“He has to find a home, and we want to make sure we get the balance right between the experienced ones and some youthful energy in the team.”