Scouring the Interweb forums, articles and endless predictions (including my own of course) I’ve realised that we all seem to have got into a state of panic over the last few days. I’ve fallen into the trap myself as third place in League Two slipped away from us last night. But should we really be this anxious?
With four games of the league season to go, Northampton Town are FOURTH in League Two. I believe many of us said at the start of the season that a playoff place would be a good return after the last couple of seasons of almost falling into the abyss of non-league football. We are four games away from the end of this roller coaster ride that has seen us claw our way into contention for not just that but a genuine chance at the top three.
Should Town overcome York City at Sixfields on Saturday and both Exeter and Chesterfield both lose, we will be guaranteed a playoff place with three games still to play. It would also set up the trip to Wycombe on Tuesday night in style and mean that even in the worst case scenario we would know that a win would definitely put us back into the automatic promotion places.
It’s certainly not going to be easy with York fighting for their lives and other teams coming to the fore but let’s try to embrace these moments and be thankful that this team have brought us to this point over the last few months. This is arguably the hardest part, to seal the deal, and we need to be fully behind our own team first and foremost rather than panicking about others.
If the Cobblers win four games of football then we’ll be a League One club. If not, then we can look at how we may get there with less. If it’s the playoffs, so be it. We may struggle against the likes of Rotherham United, Cheltenham Town, Bradford City or Burton Albion over two legs but then again what better carrot on a stick than a potential trip to Wembley being two games away?
And even if it all does go to pot, we are very likely indeed to be in the mix and have a shot, have a chance at promotion. That’s a huge credit to Aidy Boothroyd and his players. So enjoy the drama, enjoy the blood, sweat and tears that these four games are going to bring. It’s all a part of a journey that we thought would be a great achievement when we were making our predictions back in August.
Get right behind the team in the run-in. I’ll be screaming at my laptop from the other side of the world but will be back in time for the Barnet game – one where we should be celebrating an achievement of some kind. Let’s make it the best one possible!