Match Preview: Derby County v Northampton Town

The Cobblers travel to Derby County for a rearranged League One encounter this evening with both sides going through a period of shaky confidence on very different levels. The Rams come into it suffering from a lack of consistency and with manager Paul Warne seemingly hanging on to his job as every defeat for one of the big hitters and spenders of the division bringing into focus their underachievement so far. 
For Jon Brady, having lost his partner in crime Colin Calderwood this week, it’s a case of trying to create a similar siege mentality to the one that brought us to League One in the first place. Brady is again struggling with injuries to key men with Jon Guthrie, Jack Sowerby, Keiron Bowie and Louis Appéré sidelined. That’s a lot of energy, fight and experience lost through the spine of the side and we need to find a way to eek out points and stay above the bottom four.
In theory, this is a fixture that we would look at when the fixtures came out as a bonus but, given the major need for a boost, it would be a timely midweek fixture for us to upset the odds and pull something memorable out of the bag. Over 1,250 Cobblers fans are making the trip and let’s hope for one of those classic Tuesday nights!

The Opposition

Derby’s most recent season in the Premier League back in 2007/08 saw the Rams pick up just one win all season and, famously, only eleven points across the entire campaign. As County fans licked their wounds from that, they would have imagined that things couldn’t possibly get much worse. But, after fourteen consecutive seasons in the Championship following that glimpse of the top flight, they would be proven very wrong.

The club were plunged into administration in 2021/22, deducted a total of twenty one points and were, inevitably, sent back to a level that they hadn’t seen since 1986. Liam Rosenior took over for the start of the 2022/23 season but lasted mere weeks until Paul Warne took over to steady a ship that had looked completely out of control.

A mid-season turn around saw the Rams win seven games out of eight in the league between mid-December and early February but a poor run of form and a defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on the final day cost them a place in the playoffs so Warne has now had to settle the fan base once more as they look to bounce back to the Championship at the second attempt.

It’s not been plain sailing. Warne came out and said his players were failing recently after they slid into mid-table and a 3-1 defeat at Stevenage on Saturday did nothing to allay the anger of Rams fans.  They, like the Cobblers, need a response on Tuesday night.

Last Time Out

Derby were beaten 3-1 at Stevenage on Saturday and the Cobblers fell to a 2-1 defeat aT Bristol Rovers.

One To Watch

Northern Ireland international Connor Washington is leading the line at the moment for the Rams and brings plenty of experience from League One and above from the last few years. 

Washington broke into league football with Newport County before spending time with Peterborough, QPR, Sheffield United, Hearts, Charlton and Rotherham before signing for Derby in the summer. He’s found the net twice so far for his new club.

Team News

Derby Midfielder Liam Thompson is progressing well in his recovery from a quad injury but is still a number of weeks away from a return. Tyreece John-Jules has been  out with a similar issue but is getting closer to returning to training. Defender Jake Rooney has undergone surgery on his damaged ACL and will be out of action for a longer period. Martyn Waghorn pulled up after training at the end of last week with a hamstring issue so is likely out as well.

The Cobblers have been without Jon Guthrie, Jack Sowerby and Louis Appéré but they’re all on the way back so may yet be included in the squad. Keiron Bowie serves the second game of his three game suspension while Max Dyche, Ben Fox, Tyler Magoire and Danny Hylton are long term absentees.

Line-Up Prediction

Match Officials

Simon Mather is the referee on Tuesday night. Mather was last in charge of a Cobblers game in our 1-1 draw at home to Stevenage in April. Johnathon Bickerdike and Sian Massey-Ellis are running the lines and Declan Bourne is fourth official.


I’ve got a funny feeling we can nick something here. Home fans will be on edge from the off and if we can keep things tighter than we did in the first half on Saturday and frustrate them for long periods we could get a result. 0-0


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