Aidy Boothroyd insists he has still not settled on his preferred starting line-up for the new League Two season and will look at options he has not tried yet during Northampton Town’s final two pre-season friendlies.
The Cobblers boss has shown a preference for a 4-3-3 formation in the most recent games against Chelsea Under-21s and Derby County, although they have also played in a 4-4-2 at times.
Boothroyd has previously stated that Northampton must be able to play more than one style and system come the start of the 2012/13 campaign, while there are a few combinations that he still wants to experiment with.
Indeed, last season’s top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa has been mostly used a substitute during the four pre-season encounters so far, but could well get a chance up front alongside new signing Clive Platt against a Tottenham Hotspur XI on Saturday.
“I've not played Bayo and Clive together yet, so we've got that to look forward to and I certainly wouldn't want to face that any day,” said Boothroyd in the wake of the 4-3 defeat at home to Derby County on Tuesday evening.
“I want to win every game and I find it very frustrating at times to lose to a team of under-21s from Chelsea, even though they are very good players.
“We've lost 4-3 to a Championship team and a lot of people have said it's OK, but there is still that little piece of me that gets irked by results like that because I like to win everything.
“But once I've settled myself down I'll be very pleased with a lot of things. Pre-season is about making sure that you get people fit, performing and understand, and we've taken another step towards that."
After Spurs visit Sixfields this weekend, Town then host a West Ham United XI in their final pre-season match on Tuesday, and it is likely that Boothroyd will use those matches to take a look at the two most recent trialists to join the club.
Former Watford winger Michael Bryan and ex-Stoke City striker Louis Moult both came to Northampton on Tuesday and were unused subs against Derby, but the manager is keen to see them in action in a game situation.
Boothroyd’s other priority is making sure that the Town defence tighten up after being disappointed with the way they conceded goals against Derby – particularly with those that came from set pieces.
He said: “They're things that can be sorted out, but Derby are a good team, they don't regularly finish in the top half of the Championship by luck and they tested us.
“But equally we showed a better understanding, used the skills that we have got in terms of strength, pace and power, and I felt we made good decisions in possession.
“We were better for long periods and as we go along we've got another couple of weeks and it's time to get as much as we can into them and make sure we are ready for Rochdale.
“It's about getting the 90 minutes in and that's the second 90 minutes for most of them - the third for some of them - and we've got to make sure we are at peak performance for Cardiff.
"I think the front of the team and the midfield is very good. We've conceded four goals which could have been avoided, but that's where we are. It's pre-season and I'd rather conceded them now when it comes to the real stuff.”