I’d like to say it couldn’t get any worse than this. A comprehensive defeat at home to a supposed relegation rival is pretty low and if the Cobblers carry on in this manner than no-one above the relegation zone will need to worry a jot in the next few weeks. Chris Wilder seemed to have everything in control and had been snapping away at the gap between ourselves and those whom we’re chasing but the last couple of performances have taken us back to those dark days where it all looked a certainty that we would be going down.
What’s more upsetting than the result, as bad as that was, is that the majority of the side don’t seem to properly understand that they’re in a relegation fight. Whether it’s down to half of them being safe in the knowledge that they won’t be here next season is one to debate but quite simply a professional football should be playing for all he’s worth no matter how long the contract.
The players drafted in should be seeing the likes of Kelvin Langmead, Lewis Hornby, Lee Collins and Alex Nicholls on the sidelines and fighting for THEM. They’re all helplessly watching their side drift closer and closer to the drop. There’s a manager who’s been entrusted to keeping us in the division – they should be fighting for HIM. But most of all there’s thousands of Cobblers fans around the country and, in some cases, the world who live and breathe Northampton Town, who embrace each other through the highs and shed a tear with each other through the lows – they should be fighting for US.
I commented on the demise of Barnet when we sent them down at Sixfields last season and particularly mentioned the apathy being shown by players and fans alike. Their team had just been sent to non-league and plenty of them hardly batted an eyelid but instead just shrugged it off as if it were expected that much. How miserable it would be if we end up in six games time in the same state.
But that’s the reality we’re facing if this carries on.
I know a lot of people who have completely given up and any sane person who saw the Bury defeat would absolutely agree with them. But personally, and despite all the evidence pointing against it, I can’t concede that my team are going into the Skrill Premier that easily. While there’s time on the clock and games to play I simply can’t accept it – football has a funny way of turning around in the most desperate of times.
It won’t happen by magic, though – the players, temporary and permanent, need to clear the air and remember how to win football matches. They need to remember that their futures and reputations are on the line and that there are thousands of fans out there whose lives they will affect in the next few weeks. This game is a matter of life or death to so many and it should mean just as much to the players who are picking up a hefty wage each and every week because we’ll be there long after they’ve gone and if they have any pride whatsoever in their work then the next six games should become the biggest of their lives.
They’re definitely going to be the biggest of ours…