It’s time for the Cobblers to show us all that they’re up for a promotion push…
We all questioned on the main podcast this week whether the players and management actually want to kick on and grab this promotion and these final six games will show us if they’re ready to step above expectations.
We start the final push with a home game against regular bogey team, Bradford City. The Bantams, under new management in the form of Mark Hughes, are usually a team who enjoy putting a spanner in our works. This weekend will be no different and Town will have to come out fighting.
Show some arshole. Dig in. Fight till the end. Whatever phrase you want to use, this is now do or die time. Come on, you claret wassocks!
When Bradford City eased past the Cobblers at Wembley in 2013, you’d have struggled to find any Bantams fans who didn’t envision League Two being clearly in their rear view window. That feeling would have been even more prevalent when they went on to reach League One playoff semi-finals and the final in 2015 and 2016 as their sleeping giant status looked close to ending.
But mismanagement at the top led to a disastrous season just two years after their latest Wembley showpiece as City finished 24th to drop back into the basement division. A couple of seasons of transition has left many fans frustrated but crowds continue to flock back to Valley Parade.
Mark Hughes is the latest man to take the helm as manager with his surprise appointment yet another signal of Bradford’s place as a huge club at this level. That kind of appointment will once again raise expectations, though, and City fans will be looking for more than just a trial run for next season as they visit Sixfields.
Last time out
One to watch
Experienced striker Andy Cook has scored goals wherever he’s gone and has hit eleven in the league this season. His knowhow will be crucial in heading up a recovery under Mark Hughes.
The Cobblers will be without Paul Lewis, who serves a one match ban following his red card at Mansfield last weekend. Shaun McWilliams is on his way back from injury but this weekend comes too soon so Peter Abimbola or Scott Pollock could come in. Ali Koiki could make a return after a hamstring injury and Idris Kanu may also be back in the squad.
Bradford look likely to be without Tom Elliott and Levi Sutton for the trip to Sixfields but Lee Angol is set to make his return to the squad after coming through a practice match in midweek.
Mitch Pinnock put the Cobblers in front at Valley Parade back in November but a Charles Vernam goal earned the home side a point.
Line-up Prediction – Powered by FanHub
David Rock takes charge of this one having last officiated a Cobblers game last April, a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers. Scott Williams and Mark Jones are running the lines and Christopher Husband is fourth official.
Charles: Cobblers 0-2 Bradford
Danny: Cobblers 2-1 Bradford
Neil: Cobblers 9-9 Bradford
Jefé: Cobblers 1-1 Bradford
We were joined this week by Craig and Clive from the Mansfield Matters podcast as we looked ahead to the weekend’s game:
A Cobblers fan all his life, Danny is the most down to earth football supporter from Northampton.
While at university in Southampton, Danny kept up to date with all things NTFC from afar, sharing his thoughts on his ‘A Load Of Cobblers’ online blog.