Defeat at home to Gillingham on Tuesday night included not only a hit on our chances of re-entering the race for an early position in the top seven of League Two but also, more long term, on two key members of the playing staff.
Gillingham, whilst not completely overpowering the Cobblers, left with a pretty deserved victory with Bayo Akinfenwa’s third goal of the season late on not enough to start an unlikely fight back against his former side. As frustrating as it was to lose out on the chance to jump back into the top half of the table, perhaps more worrying were the injuries sustained by Luke Guttridge and John Johnson.
Guttridge was withdrawn early on and it was today revealed that he has a broken metatarsal, an injury that will keep him out for at least three months. Johnson, meanwhile, will be missing for something in the region of four to six weeks with a knee injury, emphasising the timeliness of Danny East’s loan extension that keeps him at Sixfields until January.
The big problem is Guttridge’s though, particularly with Ben Harding also missing for the next month from the centre of midfield. Ben Tozer will need to step up to the plate in the coming weeks and really take hold of that position whilst a new loan is an absolute must ahead of this weekend’s trip to Bristol Rovers.
Chris Hackett filled in on Tuesday night for the majority of the game but his ore natural width is needed on the right hand side. Aidy Boothroyd has said that he expects a new face to be arriving within the next couple of days following the diagnosis of Guttridge and hopefully he has something up his sleeve to take us through the next couple of months.
With that small squad we can be relieved that most of our loans have been put to good use, possibly with the exception of Henoc Mukendi who we haven’t seen the best of just yet. There’s a small amount of room, at least, for a bit of manoeuvring in the loan market and we should be able to trust Aidy enough to bring in the right character based on his previous dips into that particular area of transfer dealings.
Here’s to a speedy recovery to all!