Northampton v Pompey: The Insider

Northampton's Nicky Adams PictureL Sharon Lucey
Northampton's Nicky Adams PictureL Sharon Lucey
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Jeremy Casey, from the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, shares his knowledge on the Cobblers’ season to date.

The campaign had started with two straight wins, but Chris Wilder’s side had hit a month-long sticky patch.

They couldn’t get their attacking game going, the opposition had sussed them out a little, and fans were looking at the play-offs.

Today, Northampton sit top of League Two having won nine of their past 10 matches in all competitions, drawing the other.

They are absolutely flying.

Marc Richards is leading the line well, Nicky Adams pulling all the strings, and as an attacking unit they have come into their own by playing great stuff.

The pre-season aim was always the play-offs, even though Wilder was pretty confident with the players he was signing.

They had faded towards the end of last term and the top three would have been a dream. That has changed now.

Certainly, the Cobblers’ off-field problems have resulted in galvanising everybody and that has been a factor.

The players have got on with performing, while the support has increased because fans have been genuinely worried it could be the last time they saw their side.

That positivity and atmosphere generated has gone a long way to installing the form they find themselves in at the minute.

Wilder deserves plenty of credit as well, for brilliantly concentrating minds on football and not anything else.

Northampton haven’t been the best on the eye for the last few years, but this season are very good to watch and very attacking, with a high tempo.

Adams has been the main creator and provided the most assists in League Two at present. He is a two-footed player who starts centrally and operates off both flanks.

Richards has 12 goals and is key to the way the team plays. What’s more, he scores in ones so is consistent.

Last year John-Joe O’Toole had a bit of a nightmare and was put on the transfer list, ensuring he wasn’t really involved at the start of this season.

But due to injuries and suspensions got his chance in September and been one of the best players.

As for Ricky Holmes, he has become a bit of a cult hero after helping turn around the club’s fortunes last season. They love him.

This term he’s had a groin injury and then a back problem, but came on as substitute in the last two matches – scoring a stunning winner at Luton.