'Proud' Sam Hoskins always felt he was capable of hitting 20 goals

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The versatile forward is now 7th on the all-time list of Cobblers appearance makers

A proud Sam Hoskins said he always felt he was capable of hitting 20 goals in a season after reaching that magic mark against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

Before last season, Hoskins’ best return in a single campaign was 12 goals in 2019/20. After bettering that by one last term, he has taken his scoring feats to a whole new level this year by becoming the first Northampton player to hit 20 league goals in a season since Richard Hill in 1986/87, some 36 years ago.

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It’s always felt an attainable target for the 30-year-old, especially after starting the season with 10 in 10, and sure enough he has achieved it with eight games to spare.

"I’m proud to score that many goals, “ said Hoskins, who is also up to seventh on the all-time list of Cobblers appearance makers with 330. “It's obviously a great achievement for me.

"It's not something I've done in my career previously and it's always nice to hit numbers like that, but without sounding too cliched, the three points are the main thing today and I thought it was another good performance.

“I'll enjoy myself but not too much because it's full focus on next weekend. Hopefully there's a lot of celebrating to do at the end of the season."

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Hoskins reached the milestone after reading Jonathan Mitchell’s loose pass and firing past the hapless goalkeeper to double Northampton’s lead 52 minutes into Saturday’s 2-0 victory.

Sam HoskinsSam Hoskins
Sam Hoskins

"It was a bit of a snapshot,” he added. “My focus was on trying to keep it down and hit the target but we set up to press like that because we knew they would try and build from the back and play out from the back.

"It wasn't just the goal I scored, I think we picked them off quite a few times and that shows how well we set up and that we stuck to our game plan.

"It was a great moment to celebrate with the fans and credit to them as well – they always follow us in good numbers and they made themselves heard all game. The home fans were getting on top of their team a bit and that made our fans sound even better."

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Whilst Hoskins admits he can’t put his finger on the precise reason for the sudden rush of goals, he believes the freedom given to him by manager Jon Brady has played a crucial role.

Sam Hoskins celebrates his 20th goal of the seasonSam Hoskins celebrates his 20th goal of the season
Sam Hoskins celebrates his 20th goal of the season

"I've always enjoyed my time here but I'm probably in the best form of my career,” he continued. "I don't know why it's happened this season – your guess is as good as mine!

"I've spoken about it before about having the freedom to go and express myself more in the last couple of seasons and that's certainly helped. I do feel as if I have always had it in me but it's just going out there and being consistent on the pitch. I’m in a good place and long may it continue.”