Boothroyd says Cobblers must avoid defeat at Cheltenham

Aidy Boothroyd
Aidy Boothroyd
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Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd says the priority for the Easter Monday game against promotion rivals Cheltenham Town will be to avoid defeat.

Town go to Whaddon Road with a three-point gap between the sides following their win over Torquay at Sixfields and the Robins’ loss to Port Vale, both on Good Friday.

Northampton have also played a game less than Cheltenham and have that as an insurance policy should they fail to achieve the manager’s pre-match target.

Boothroyd is fully aware that a loss would put Mark Yates’ side back in the hunt for automatic promotion and, if the goal difference was enough, it would also see them overtake the Cobblers.

To deprive Cheltenham of a maximum-points haul, therefore, will be his first and foremost priority.

“The win on Friday night sets us up really nicely for the game down at Cheltenham,” he said. “We have a game in hand on them but that’s no good because you have to win your games in hand.

“They are a very strong side, they beat us here 3-2 when we were 2-0 up and thought we’d won it so that shows you their resilience.

“They’ve had a real go at Port Vale and just come up short and they will be really revved up for playing us.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a really good game. We got there with a real spring in our step and a real emotional energy.

“We’ve got to go there and make sure we get something. A point is good, three is brilliant but we’ve got to make sure we get something.”

Despite admitting a draw would be a good result there is little other evidence to suggest Boothroyd will send his team out with a defensive strategy.

In their most recent away game, at Morecambe, they played their best football when seeking an equaliser in the match and with powerhouse duo Adebayo Akinfenwa and Clive Platt in attack.

Platt was taken off at half-time of Friday’s game as a precaution against a calf problem and the manager hinted he might adopt an attack-accented game plan.

“We want to go to Cheltenham with all of our front men fit and we might play all three of them because they’re all in such good form,” he said.

“We might throw Bayo, Clive and Roy out there all at the same time and see how that goes.”