BUSY Town manager Peter Jackson was today in talks with experienced Lenny Johnrose and aiming to sign him until the end of the season.
The 34-year-old utility player has just been released by Swansea City in the wake of manager Brian Flynn's departure and Jackson is keen to add the six-club man to his McAlpine squad.
If successful, Johnrose could figure against his old club in just 48 hours at the McAlpine, alongside midfield loan arrival from Blackburn, Gary Harkins, who trained with Town for the first time at Storthes Hall yesterday.
Jackson was also trailing another striker as the clock ticked towards today's 5pm transfer deadline for this season - while it appeared no-one would be leaving the Town squad for pastures new.
With nine fixtures left to decide Town's promotion fate, Jackson is not furthering his interest in trialists Scott Brown (Everton) and Andy Hodges (Tottenham) - both of whom played in the 3-2 Reserves' defeat to Stoke City yesterday - but he has offered full professional terms for next season to emerging Under 19 trio John McAliskey, Joe Walsh and John McCombe.
"Lenny Johnrose is an experienced player who has won promotions with Bury and Burnley and who can strengthen our squad for the run-in," said Jackson, whose squad were due to train indoors today because of wet and heavy conditions at Storthes Hall.
"He is interesting some other clubs, (Macclesfield among them) but he has agreed to come up here for talks and I'm hopeful of sorting out a deal, because he is the type who can play just about anywhere in your team.
"I'm also hoping to attract a striker before the deadline, so we could have a couple of fresh faces in to join Harkins, who looks a good player and did well in his first training session with us."
Johnrose started his career with Blackburn in 1988 and, after a loan at Preston, he moved to Hartlepool in a £50,000 deal in 1992. He became fully established in six years at Bury, where he was a teammate of Ian Hughes and played under Neil Warnock, and his performances earned a £225,000 move to Burnley in February 1999.
He then went back to Bury before signing for Swansea in January last year and, this season, he has played 29 times at the Vetch, where his tough-tackling style has landed him with nine yellow cards - just one away from a two match ban (like Jon Worthington).
Johnrose has had the final three months of his Swansea contract paid up and said of his departure: "I had been asking Brian Flynn what the chances of a new contract were, because I wanted some back-up if I was going to be released. For whatever reason, the chairman felt that meant I was showing a lack of commitment.
"When Brian Flynn left, I went to see Alan Curtis about another matter and he told me the chairman had mentioned Macclesfield. I got the impression I wasn't wanted so that's why I've left."
Saturday's gate will include 1,250 children and parents who have bought tickets through Town's successful schools' scheme (36 took part).
Fans should note the ticket office will be busy on Saturday. Friend for a Fiver vouchers should be exchanged tomorrow or between 9am and 11am on the day. Northampton refunds will not be dealt with on Saturday.
* Midfielder Lee Fowler was having ankle surgery today while defender Nathan Clarke, also ruled out for the season, will have surgery on Monday.