Nicholls debut impresses Cobblers boss Boothroyd

SAFE HANDS - Lee Nicholls gathers the ball during the Cobblers' pre-season friendly against West Ham
SAFE HANDS - Lee Nicholls gathers the ball during the Cobblers' pre-season friendly against West Ham

Lee Nicholls made his non-competitive debut in goal for Northampton Town on Tuesday night, and drew praise from his new boss Aidy Boothroyd for how well he immediately settled into the side.

The on-loan Wigan Athletic stopper only arrived in Northampton in the build-up to the friendly against West Ham on Tuesday night and acquitted himself well, dominating his area and providing a vocal presence in goal.

Nicholls may not be able to play for Town when the season begins against Cardiff City in the Capital One Cup first round on Tuesday night as he revealed on Twitter that his parent club have not given him permission to play.

That situation could be altered if a deal is worked out between Wigan and the Cobblers, who are making no public statement at this moment.

Youth-team goalkeeper Dean Snedker would be on standby to play against Cardiff but losing Nicholls would be a blow to Boothroyd, who was impressed with the teenager’s performance.

“I thought he did very well,” he said. “The goal was from a mistake but I’d rather get those mistakes out of the way now.

“He fitted in very well, especially considering he only arrived at the club on Tuesday morning.

“You can see he’s very competent with his feet, he was aggressive in his area and I was pleased with how he came and collected things.

“I thought you wouldn’t realise he had just arrived with us.”

One player who will be available is Henoc Mukendi, who has completed the necessary paperwork on his loan spell until January.

“He (Mukendi) will be with us until January at the minimum,” said Boothroyd, who fielded the teenager as a late substitute in the West Ham game. “He’s a young player, he’s only 17 and he’s here to learn.

“He’s very different to Toni Silva, both in stature and the way he plays. He did well against West Ham too, he was up front with Bayo and Bayo looked after him.

“Squad-wise, at the top of the pitch I think we’re in pretty good shape.”