It’s been a pretty frantic few days at Sixfields HQ with more ins, outs and shake it all abouts than your regulation office Christmas party. There’s a new front runner for the manager’s job, three players have departed, two have come in and one is in talks about a shock move abroad. We knew there was going to be plenty of change but injuries have forced Andy King’s hand on the playing side of things as he burrows his way through what must be the toughest of caretaker manager spells.
King’s own claims for the top job can’t have been helped by the timely New Year’s Day postponement against Chesterfield. Though it’s likely that he’ll still be in place for the trip to Newport on Saturday (though that game could also be in doubt) an unlikely win over the league leaders could have given him massive kudos in his negotiations, if any are indeed taking place.
Dowie the new favourite?
Torquay United sacking manager Alan Knill has led to our search appearing to speed up. Chris Hargreaves, a top candidate for the Sixfields post, now surely has another option with a team local to his area and another that’s close to his heart also advertising. Jumping ahead of the former Cobblers midfielder now is Iain Dowie, who leads many bookmaker’s lists at the time of writing. Dowie had success at Oldham and Crystal Palace but his last official manager’s post was five years ago at QPR. It would be another in a line of experienced heads wanting to rebuild themselves and their careers and you would have to hope that his contacts in the game would be enough to keep the Cobblers in the league. The rumour mill is still in overdrive but it’s looking like sooner rather than later as the transfer window slides open.
Ins and outs…
Three players have left Sixfields over the last few days with Luke Norris and Izale McLeod’s injuries forcing them to cut short their loan spells and Matt Heath departing at the end of his short term deal with the club. Meanwhile, Roy O’ Donovan has been flown out to Dubai to hold talks with an unnamed team ahead of a potential transfer. That one came pretty out of the blue but I would imagine that we would be getting a fee for the striker should this deal run to a conclusion. David Cardoza’s holiday over there makes more sense now as I assume he’s put the wheels in motion and tried to big up some of his squad to potential suitors! We await the news that he’s put together a Clive Platt compilation to try and ship him out as well. I’ve always liked O’Donovan but injuries and a lack of form have robbed him of any consistency this season so it may be a good move for him and a chance to free up some wages and space for a new Cobblers chief.
Coming in the other way are the latest on loan strikers to travel on the Sixfields conveyor belt this season as Hallam Hope joins from Everton and Antonio German arrives from Gillingham, both on one month contracts. We can’t afford to keep pushing in short term loans to try and get us through to the end of the season but with so much misfortune in that position in recent weeks you have to understand King’s thinking in trying to do the very best he can with loans his only realistic option. Hope has progressed through the Everton academy and has played for the England schoolboys and Under 19s squads whilst German is a bit of a traveller considering he’s only twenty two. German came through the academy at QPR but has had seven different clubs either on loan or for short amounts of time.
That clears up the news desk for the time being but there’s bound to be more to come. I’ll try my best to keep up!