O'Toole keen to stay at Cobblers but admits he likes to keep his '˜options open'

Player of the year John-Joe O'Toole has expressed his desire to extend his stay at the Cobblers.

Monday, 6th March 2017, 4:49 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:09 am
John-Joe O'Toole scored his 12th goal of the season in Saturday's 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic (Picture: Sharon Lucey)

But Town’s 12-goal top-scorer says the decision is not entirely down to him, and that he has to keep his ‘options open’.

The three-year contract O’Toole signed in the summer of 2014 runs out at the end of this season, when the 28-year-old will become a free agent.

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh went on record at the weekend to say he wants to keep the player at the club for ‘seasons to come’, and O’Toole says he is also open to signing a new deal.

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But nothing has been sorted out as yet, with Edinburgh, O’Toole and the rest of the Cobblers team concentrating on securing the club’s Sky Bet League One future, although the Town manager has said he will be ‘pro-active’ in trying to get players’ futures sorted as quickly as possible.

O’Toole has been in fantastic form since the turn of the year, and on Saturday scored the crucial winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic at Sixfields, his seventh goal in his past seven games.

Asked afterwards if he wanted to agree a new deal and stay at Sixfields, the former Bristol Rovers man said: “I always try and like to keep my options open, but with the way things are going I don’t see why not.

“It is obviously not all in my hands, and it is about what the manager wants, and what the chairman (Kelvin Thomas) wants, so I will have to see.

But I don’t see why not.

“I get on well with the fans, and with the new manager coming in things are looking up.”

O’Toole is one of a clutch of current Cobblers first team regulars who are out of contract at the end of the season.

The others are goalkeeper Adam Smith, full-back Neal Eardley, central defender Zander Diamond and striker and captain Marc Richards, and O’Toole admits it is never an ideal situation for any player to be in.

“It can be a difficult time,” said the former Watford and Colchester United man.

“I have had a lot harder times when you are coming to the end of your contract and are struggling.

“You might not be playing as much as you want, but at least here I am playing and I have that as a positive, for people to look at you and whatever, but it can be really hard for some players.

“Luckily I am not going through that at the minute, but there is still uncertainty and you want your future secured.”

Saturday’s match against Charlton was O’Toole’s 100th start for the Cobblers, and he has also made 23 appearances from the bench, scoring 26 goals in total.