Boothroyd confident Northampton have learned away-day lessons ahead of play-offs

MAKING A DIFFERENCE - Luke Guttridge has been impressive since being recalled to the Cobblers starting line-up
MAKING A DIFFERENCE - Luke Guttridge has been impressive since being recalled to the Cobblers starting line-up
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Although it was said with a note of caution, Aidy Boothroyd believes he may have finally ‘cracked’ the Cobblers’ miserable away form.

Town wrapped up their road campaign for 2012/13 with a good 2-2 draw at Port Vale that would have been a victory but for Lee Collins’ 85th-minute own goal.

It means Northampton finish the regular season with the second worst away record in npower League Two, behind Saturday afternoon’s opponents Barnet.

Torquay United have an identical record of four wins, eight draws and 11 losses but have a superior goal difference of -5, to the Cobblers’ -16.

The draw at Vale Park and the 0-0 stalemate at Wycombe Wanderers in the previous game were both improvements on the back-to-back losses at Cheltenham and Bradford.

And Boothroyd has been happy with the way the five-man midfield - which includes recalled duo Luke Guttridge and Lewis Hornby - has functioned in the past week.

“I know I shouldn’t really say it but I think we’ve cracked it,” said Boothroyd, whose team play a two-legged play-off after they conclude their season against Barnet at Sixfields on Saturday.

“We’ve found a way of playing that not only suits us but helps us win.

“We can take that into the play-off games that we’ve got.

“There’s only one thing we want to do in the play-offs, and that’s to win them.

“We know we can beat anyone on our day.

“If we’re not right, we can get done by anybody as well but I’m really looking forward to the two games.”

That concept of being able to lose to anyone team in the division was ruthlessly exposed by Barnet when the teams met at Underhill in October.

Town were well beaten that night, going down 4-0 to a struggling side and to the visible fury of their manager Boothroyd.

It was a bad evening and one that is likely to provide plenty of motivation for the weekend side, but Boothroyd says a victory against the Bees - who need a win to definitely maintain their Football League status - would be primarily about generating momentum for the play-offs.

“We want to win it,” he said. “We’ve got to think about ourselves and the momentum that we’re building at the moment.

“Would the team that played at Port Vale have gone out at the start of the season? I wouldn’t have thought so.

“But it’s a squad that is together, that is growing and betting better every week.

“We had a little wobble but we should have got more out of those games during that period, certainly the one at Cheltenham.

“But we’ve kept going and we got a magnificent result at Port Vale.”