Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has abandoned his search for a big target man to pep up the team’s attacking options - for now.
The Town manager, who tried to re-sign Adebayo Akinfenwa in the January transfer window, had stated in June that he would like to bring in a ‘decent sized’ target man as an alternative attacking option.
But Wilder has since altered his thinking, and although not completely writing off bringing somebody in, he says he is not going to ‘get obsessed’ with signing a big forward - especially as he believes he already has that option within his existing squad.
“I am not going to get obsessed by this, about needing a big striker,” said Wilder, who tomorrow night takes his team to Conference Premier side Eastleigh for their final pre-season friendly.
“Ivan Toney is good in the air as we have seen, Marc Richards is as well, so we won’t get obsessed by getting somebody in.”
Wilder admitted that the unexpected chance to sign creative midfielder John-Joe O’Toole changed his mindset over the make-up of his squad.
“It was a situation at the time where I felt we might need something else, but as soon as I found out we had a chance of getting John-Joe and to sacrifice a little bit in another department I thought I would rather do that, which is what we have done,” said the Town boss.
“But if we do need to go a little bit more direct and need somebody strong up front, we have looked at it and we have got bodies up there that can do that.
“Then there is also people like Zander Diamond, Ben Tozer and Kelvin Langmead that we can use if we need to.”
The Cobblers travel to Eastleigh tomorrow night, and should be boosted by the return of Danny Alfei, who missed last Saturday’s clash with Leyton Orient due to flu, and also Ian Morris, who it is hoped will have shrugged off the thigh strain that has kept him sidelined for the past two friendlies.
Eastleigh, who are managed by former Cobblers player and assistant boss Richard Hill, possess plenty of league experience in their ranks, including ex-Town defenders Dean Beckwith and Paul Reid, and Wilder is anticipating a tricky evening in Hampshire.
“The players just want the first league game to start now, but the match at Eastleigh is our last friendly, and we think we have had a decent pre-season,” said Wilder.
“The players have worked hard, no short-cuts have been taken, and they are looking at the Mansfield match, but we have to get these games in.
“We are looking forward to going down to Eastleigh, and it will be a competitive test for us.”