>Here we go again!

>So here we go again…another set of pre-season friendlies have come and gone and I sit here on my lunch break in Southampton pondering whether to be over excited about the excellent pre-season or not. Friendlies always end up getting you either too nervous because you only put one goal past a non league outfit or too excited and over the top because of a draw or win against a Premier League side.

The main concern should, of course, be the performance of the players and from all reports it’s been a solid schedule. It’s been weird in the year 1 AB (After Bayo) but there’s a few sparks already to give us optimisn ahead of the 2010/11 campaign.

Michael Jacobs has stepped up to the plate as the young player to watch and the two goals against Watford along with the creation of the equaliser against Birmingham won’t do his cause any harm at all. Tadhg Purcell has settled in well, Billy McKay continues to score and even Steve Guinan has returned with new vigour having been placed on the transfer list.

But the key signing came a couple of weeks back, at around 5:30 on a Friday afternoon when the news popped up on the official site stating “Johnson signs Cobblers deal”. Before I saw the photo I had visions of a terrible jump back to sign Gavin Johnson to fill the left back berth but, incredibly, it was John Johnson returning to Sixfields, not even on loan but on a two year deal!

The fact that Jonno dropped down two divisions, more than likely took a pay cut and moved half the length of the country says a lot for Sammo, Malc and the impression gained from the other players last season. Who says we can’t attract the better calibre of players?!

So after that piece of news we’re looking quietly confident. Gone are the claims that we can take this league by storm, that we’re going up before a ball is kicked and that we should be in the top three minimum. This can only be a good thing in Sammo’s first full season. Although expectation will no doubt rise if we have that illusive good start, we’re appearing to have a terrific work ethic and the club is back in good hands.

Now all that’s left to do is kick that ball, hopefully between those white sticks and start on the road to better things. Who knows, maybe we’ll even win at Sincil Bank this season!

Up the Cobblers!

Danny

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