There’s been plenty of hasty panic spreading throughout social media this week with the Cobblers still to pick up that first win of the season and a penalty shoot-out defeat to League One Wycombe knocking us out of the League Cup at the first round stage. But as starts to the season go, it hasn’t been the disaster that many are making it out to be with the Town squad still likely coming to terms with a damaging campaign last time out and with many of the players who were relegated and shackled under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink still to let loose.
We’re all desperate for Town to get that first win under our belt and there are plenty of ways to do it, starting with sticking to the values that Dean Austin is trying to instil in his players.
Attack! Attack! Attackattackattack!
Austin has stated his intent to play on the front foot and a home game against a Cambridge United side who have conceded nine goals in their three games, albeit with an excellent 3-2 win over fancied Notts County on Saturday. The U’s are vulnerable at the back away from home, a trend that continues on from last season where they conceded the most (37) goals on their travels in the top half of the table. It might mean that we’re opening ourselves up at the back more, particularly if Shaun McWilliams is still unavailable, but we need to trust in our own attacking ability. Which brings me to…
Let Junior Morias loose
New signing Junior Morias came in and made his first appearance for the club on Tuesday night at Wycombe and his guile caused plenty of problems. If he can be unleashed from the start, perhaps alongside a seemingly rejuvenated Kevin van Veen who should complement his style, there’s every chance that he can provide us with a killer touch that was lacking in the opening day defeat against Lincoln.
Settle on a number one keeper
With Lewis Ward and David Cornell being rotated in the first couple of games – Ward making his debut on Tuesday night – it’s time to settle on one of them and make it clear that they are the number one. Cornell didn’t do a lot wrong against Lincoln, or for the goals that Carlisle scored for that matter, but Ward won’t want to come out on loan and sit on the bench. It’ll be interesting to see who Austin goes with against Cambridge but whoever that is needs to be told that they have the shirt, if only to reassure the back four which should include Shay Facey for the first time in the league this season.
Keep Ade Azeez in check
The former AFC Wimbledon and Partick Thistle man had an uncertain future after a difficult season last time out including a serious injury and a loan spell at Dover, arranged just after Joe Dunne took over at the club. But he’s come back firing with nine goals in pre-season and his first three competitive goals for the club, including two in the 3-2 win over Notts County. He’s sure to want to kick on and re-establish himself in the league and the Cobblers defence will need to be at their best to keep him under wraps. A first clean sheet of the season would be a huge boost for the back line.
Get the crowd going!
Sixfields can (emphasis on CAN) be loud and spur the Cobblers on. Obviously it’s difficult to get fully ‘up’ for a home game at the start of the season as opposed to one in the midst of a relegation battle but any ready-made complaining needs to be left at the turnstiles and picked up on the way out. We’re THREE games into the season and three not all that bad games at that and if the claret faithful can get behind the team from the off – we faded in the stands against Lincoln – and stay with them we can get the win we all crave and start building a momentum that we’ve not seen for a good couple of years.