Sometimes you have to just grit your teeth in the cold and accept that in football’s tough hitting world you have to accept a result over a performance when things are looking shaky. That’s exactly what happened on Saturday when Stevenage came to town and the Cobblers ground out a 1-0 win thanks to Marc Richards announcing his official return from injury by netting the winner on an afternoon that won’t be going down in many people’s memory banks as a Sixfields classic.
But at the moment it’s all about keeping our heads above the water and trying to stay in touch at least with what’s going on above us. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether we’ll even be able to put out a full strength eleven again this season so making the most of what we have is the theme for Chris Wilder going into the Christmas period. After a visit to Southend next week there’s a two week break that could help us despite knowing that we’ll be watching on as others compete in the FA Cup.
Despite a scrappy performance on Saturday there’s reasons to be cheerful again with the goal scoring instinct of Rico – who has grown to be our most important player – back in the spotlight. His second coming to Sixfields has been the highlight of the season so far and you always have a feeling that we have a chance if he’s in the side.
Ivan Toney is also back in the headlines with a six figure sum reportedly rejected by the Cobblers after a Championship side (rumoured to be Wolves) made an approach last week. While it’s not ideal to be selling off the best of a young crop of talent there surely has to be a discussion from the men at the top if the bid does increase. Toney is still very much a work in progress and we’d do well to stick out for a bigger offer and a sell on clause which may provide some future revenue. Replacing such a talent would, of course, be tough but Mr Chairman would likely have thought long and hard before saying no this time. Anything bigger, though, and the “one of our own” may not finish the season with us.
It’s a season where we haven’t really been able to get going still but results like the one of Saturday give us a life jacket to swim with. That, after last season’s traumas, should be welcomed no matter how those three points come into the bank.