Matt Grimes is set to return to the Cobblers midfield for Saturday’s trip to Oldham Athletic - and manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will be delighted to have him back.
The Town boss admits the team missed the midfielder’s influence in Saturday’s 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Portsmouth, with the Swansea City loan man serving a one-match ban.
Grimes is set to go straight back into the heart of the Cobblers midfield at Boundary Park, and Hasselbaink is happy about the return of a player he still believes has a lot more to offer.
The 22-year-old has been a key Town player throughout the campaign, being one of the first names on the teamsheet, and although Hasselbaink is delighted with his form, he insists there is more to come.
“Matt is a very good player, and we missed him on Saturday, his quality,” said the Town manager.
“He can do with at times being a little more demanding and aggressive, but he has such great technique and understanding of the game, and such a great left foot.
We only want him to come out of his shell more, and demand things more, because I think there is so much more he can do, and becomeCobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on Matt Grimes
“We only want him to come out of his shell more, and demand things more, because I think there is so much more he can do, and become.
“He can become so much better, because he has a lot on his locker.”
Grimes may not be the only returning midfielder at Oldham, with a late decision set to be made on John-Joe O’Toole, who has missed the past three weeks with an ankle injury, and Daniel Powell, who hasn’t played since November 11 due to a hamstring strain.
Shaun McWilliams is also expected to be available after missing the Pompey trip as a precaution due to a slight groin strain.
Chris Long is fit to play despite being withdrawn at half-time with an ankle strain in the defeat at Portsmouth, but fellow frontman Alex Revell (groin) is still out, as is right-back Aaron Phillips (thigh).
The Cobblers go into the game in 22nd place in Sky Bet League One, with hosts Oldham 18th, and four points better off that Hasselbaink’s men.