Manager Paul Warne could turn to January signing Matt Palmer as Rotherham United look to get their League One promotion push back on track.
After going 14 matches unbeaten to climb to fourth in the table, the Millers have lost their last two games.
Midfielder Palmer has made only one start since his arrival from Championship Burton Albion, but pressed his claim by catching the eye as a second-half substitute in last Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat at MK Dons
“Matty is a great player and I haven’t brought him to the club to sit and watch,” said manager Paul Warne. “The lads have to trust him with the ball even more than they already do. I think he had a positive effect at MK, definitely.”
Another sub, winger Jon Taylor, scored against the Dons to also force his way into Warne’s thinking for Saturday’s clash at Northampton Town.
“Tayls’ energy always has an impact,” the boss said. “Both have done well and they’re in my thoughts.”
Warne was giving away nothing definite about his team selection, but is considering changes after losses by one-goal margins to Rochdale and then MK.
Palmer, a £200,000-plus capture in the last transfer window, already has more than 150 matches under his belt - including more than 50 in the Championship - despite only just turning 23.
He had to bide his time while Rotherham were going more than three months without a defeat.
“I speak to Matty quite a lot,” Warne revealed. “He’s pretty calm and level-headed. He’s still learning the game, although he’s really experienced for someone of his age.
“He hasn’t got a ‘big time’ gene in him where he thinks he should be the centrepin and captain. He wants to play but he’s not been ‘snotty’ about not being in the side.”
With 10 games left, the Millers look a good bet for a play-off spot as they remain in fourth place, eight point clear of seventh-placed Plymouth Argyle.
Meanwhile, striker Jamie Proctor could be only a month away from a return to the first-team fold after a season wrecked by a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The centre-forward travelled to London this week and received the final medical all-clear he was hoping for.
“The specialist is really pleased with him,” Warne said. “He has been given the last green light he needed to do all the twisting and turning and heading.
“I pinned down the physios today, with Procs and the fitness coach in the room, and, with any luck, he could join in full training in about four/five weeks’ time. If everything goes well, and there is no risk to Jamie, he could be in contention for the squad at the end of the regular season.
“I would love to get him on the pitch because I think he deserves it. It would be a great boost for the lads.
“At the moment, he’s the only injured player, so he’s doing all his running on his own on the grass. It’s tough for a footballer when it’s like that.
“His first child is due on Monday. It could be an exciting couple of months for him.”
Rotherham are looking to involve Darren Potter in a reserve game next week as the midfield man steps up his comeback from an achilles problem.
Left-back Joe Mattock exacerbated his dead leg against the Dons but is expected to be fit for the trip to the 20th-placed Cobblers who have former Millers No 1 Richard O’Donnell in goal