The fairy tale ending to a strange old season is fading by the game as the Cobblers now look odds on for another season in League Two. It’s the strength in depth (or lack of) that’s killing the optimism of early 2015 with Marc Richard’s injury coming at completely the wrong time. Though it’s true that we shouldn’t be reliant on one man to get us above and beyond our targets set at Christmas we have come a long way with still that outside chance of breaking the top seven.
The Carlisle and Bury defeats were reminiscent of darker days and if we’re to mount a serious challenge, either this season or next, then old habits need to be halted. Chris Wilder seems to know just what he’s doing with long term deals and permanent signings but short term loans seem to be his undoing from what I’ve seen in the last twelve months. More stop gap signings to try and fill the boots of the top scorer aren’t necessarily the answer and it may just be that we don’t have enough this time around.
But where there’s time and mathematical hope there’s a chance and this Saturday’s game at home to Luton Town could well turn out to be do or die. The Hatters are coming in off a run of five defeats in a row and seven losses in their last eight so if ever there’s a time to catch them it’s now. On the other hand, we know that Cobblers Law could rear its ugly head again and turn another team’s form completely on its head.
Either way, it seems in many ways like a visit to Last Chance Saloon on Saturday and the Cobblers, in front of a near ‘sell out’ crowd whatever that figure is these days, have to put every psychological reason why it looks too big a task behind them and find the clinical touch that we have actually managed to conjure before without Rico.
Three points on Saturday would, at the very least, keep the window ajar for just a little bit longer.