Northampton v Crewe preview

Date published: Friday 9th December 2011 12:51

Aidy Boothroyd takes charge of Northampton for the first time on Saturday.

The former Watford, Colchester and Coventry manager was appointed as Gary Johnson’s successor on November 30 but Town have not had a game since his arrival due to their FA Cup first-round exit at the hands of non-league Luton.

Boothroyd, who will be without defenders Byron Webster (foot), Nana Ofori-Twumasi (knee) and winger Lewis Young (hamstring), insists he will not make too many changes from the side that goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers picked against Plymouth during his solitary game in temporary charge.

Boothroyd’s arrival means previously frozen-out squad members like midfielder Nathaniel Wedderburn and striker Tadhg Purcell are now back training with the main group and looking forward to a new lease of life at Sixfields.

“I won’t be making any massive changes,” said Boothroyd. “Jonno (John Johnson) will stay as captain if he’s selected and if he’s not, then I will pick another one.

“It’s a clean sheet for all the players because I haven’t seen us play yet so for me it’s about seeing us put into practice what we’ve been working on in training.”

Meanwhile, Crewe captain David Artell is set to win his fitness battle in time for the clash this weekend.

The Railwaymen centre-back has trained intermittently this week due to an ongoing Achilles complaints, but is set to be retained in boss Steve Davis’ backline.

Fellow defender Ashley Westwood is the only absentee in a fully-fit squad as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension following his dismissal in the FA Cup first-round defeat to Colchester.

Midfielder Luke Murphy returns to contention after spending time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

FA Cup second-round weekend brought an enforced break for Crewe, but they enter the trip to Sixfields in good spirits having recorded back-to-back league wins over Morecambe and Hereford.

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Northampton v Crewe preview

Date published: Monday 31st January 2011 12:13

Northampton boss Ian Sampson will be able to call upon new signings Shaun Harrad and Josh Walker.

Striker Harrad joined from Burton two weeks ago for an undisclosed fee but missed the win over Oxford after having a planned mouth operation.

But he is available now and could partner Leon McKenzie in attack as the former Norwich striker has had 10 days to rest his thigh injury since the Oxford game.

Walker could make a second debut for the club after joining on loan from Watford having spent time at Sixfields last season while on loan from Middlesbrough.

Left-back Liam Davis is still out with his knee injury so Marcus Hall will continue to deputise while midfielder Kevin Thornton is still struggling with his hamstring injury.

Striker Tadhg Purcell remains out with a knee injury sustained in August.

Meanwhile, Crewe’s leading scorer Clayton Donaldson is suspended for the game.

The 16-goal striker was sent off for violent conduct during the home win over Bradford. He was due to begin his three-match ban against Accrington on Saturday but that game was postponed.

With Calvin Zola having joined Burton on loan, Donaldson’s absence opens the door for either Ajay Leitch-Smith, Joel Grant or Nick Powell to come into the side.

On-loan goalkeeper Rhys Taylor is expected to replace Steve Phillips after serving a one-match suspension.

Club captain David Artell could also come back into contention following just over a fortnight on the sidelines with a calf injury. If he does not make it, Adam Dugdale will continue in defence.

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