Boothroyd had Cobblers players ‘mentally prepared’ for Aldershot snow

BEATING THE WEATHER - snowy conditions at Aldershot had put the game in doubt
BEATING THE WEATHER - snowy conditions at Aldershot had put the game in doubt
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Cobblers goalscorers Chris Hackett and Clarke Carlisle have revealed there was never a doubt in the mind of manager Aidy Boothroyd that the Aldershot game would go ahead - at least, not publicly.

Town have made a recent habit of playing games in adverse weather conditions and when the general consensus has been that the fixtures would not go ahead.

Groundsman Paul Knowles prepared a pitch that beat the rain in a game, also against the Shots, on the Saturday before Christmas, and repeated the feat to see off the snow for last Saturday’s win over Burton Albion.

Things were somewhat different at the EBB Stadium on Tuesday night, where the snow actually covered the pitch and the game only went ahead after a lengthy deliberation by referee Darren Deadman.

But on all three occasions, the demeanor of Boothroyd and the mentality of the squad was no different than if they were preparing for a game in perfect playing conditions.

“We couldn’t see it (the game at Aldershot) being played at all,” said Carlisle, who scored the decisive second goal. “We were very surprised when it went ahead and it was a real test of our mental strength and our organisational skills.

“The gaffer is fantastic for that, he never lets you switch off for a second and we prepared just like it was a normal game.

“We trained as normal on the day before and even in the meeting before the game at the hotel, we could see the blizzard out the window and he was adamant the game was on.

“We were all in match mode, there was no option for us to be anything but prepared to play.”

Hackett echoed those thoughts, emphasising both the professional nature of the manager and his unwavering belief in his in-form players.

Hackett: “The manager never thinks the game is going to be off, he has done that before in another game so we got our heads on it and played.

“Our manager was always going to try his hardest to get the game on for us because he trusts us to be able to go out there and get the job done.

“We were mentally prepared properly and I think that showed on the pitch.”