Barnett believes Cobblers should be satisfied with ‘positive’ pre-season

Cobblers defender Leon Barnett
Cobblers defender Leon Barnett

Leon Barnett believes the pre-season campaign has been a positive one for the Cobblers.

Town wrapped up their campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Sky Bet League Two side Newport County at Sixfields on Saurday, with central defender Barnett scoring the winner seven minutes from time.

I think we are doing well, although there is still a lot of work to be done. We are all gelling as a team, and that is what friendlies are for

Cobblers defender Leon Barnett

It wasn’t the most thrilling of performances from the Cobblers, but it came off the back of an excellent 1-0 win over Championship outfit Derby County last Tuesday.

The Cobblers also beat Sileby Rangers, Birmingham City Under-23s and Frome Town, and drew 1-1 with Kettering Town in the NFA Maunsell Cup Final, losing the resultant penalty shootout.

The only defeat over the course 90 minutes was at AFC Rushden & Diamonds, and the former Norwich City and Bury man believes that is a satisfactory return.

“I think pre-season has gone well. We only lost two games, kept some clean sheets, and I think it was a positive outcome overall,” said Barnett.

“It is all about everybody getting the minutes in without getting any injuries, and that is what we managed on Saturday.

“For everybody, pre-season is the worst part but you have to do it, you have to get the minutes in.

“You have to get your fitness levels up, but we are coming to the back end of it now and there is a lot of football coming up.”

On the Newport victory, Barnett added: “It is a positive to get a good win, although it would have been nice to have kept a clean sheet.

“But it is the last pre-season game, everybody gets their minutes in, and that is what it is there for.

“I am going to take the positives out of it, we got the goals, won the game and hopefully we can take that into Shrewsbury at the weekend.”

Barnett’s goal against the Exiles was his second of pre-season, he also scored in the 8-2 rout of Sileby back on July 8, and he has looked a real threat at set-pieces in every game, and he is hoping to do his bit when it comes to goals when the real action starts.

“The main thing is the team winning games, but if I can help and chip in with goals here and there that is definitely a positive,” he said.

Barnett is one of four new central defenders at the club after Justin Edinburgh’s clearout at the end of last season, and he admits he is still getting to know his new team-mates.

The team is also playing with a back three which the players are working hard at perfecting, and Barnett believes things are going well so far.

“I think we are doing well, although there is still a lot of work to be done,” he said. “We are all gelling as a team, and that is what friendlies are for.

“I am still learning about Ash, Ash is still learning about me, and hopefully we can get the clean sheets that we need and push on.”