Boothroyd targeting another March to remember for Northampton Town

MAGIC MOMENT - Kelvin Langmead celebrates his last-gasp winner at Burton Albion last season. The 1-0 win against the Brewers was one of four wins the Cobblers managed in March, 2012
MAGIC MOMENT - Kelvin Langmead celebrates his last-gasp winner at Burton Albion last season. The 1-0 win against the Brewers was one of four wins the Cobblers managed in March, 2012
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March was a crucial month for the Cobblers in their successful fight against relegation last season, and manager Aidy Boothroyd wants to see them repeat their 2012 feats this time around.

Town went into March having won just three times in the four months that preceded it, but their fortunes changed dramatically, with 15 points being collected in eight games.

That run - during a scheduled packed with fixtures rearranged because of the weather earlier in the season - went a long way to securing the club’s Football League status.

The games do not come quite so thick and fast this time (the trip to Exeter City on Saturday is the first of six games on the March schedule) but Boothroyd feels the month could be just as important as he attempts to lead the club out of npower League Two at the correct end.

“If we can have the same March as we had last season we will be in a very strong position in terms of what we want to achieve,” he said.

“We’re feeling very strong at the moment.

“We are confident we can always score a goal and everyone is very well organised in what they are doing.

“A good team is about emphasising your strengths and covering up your weaknesses and we’re getting better as everyone gets to know each other.”

One of the team’s key strengths in the past couple of games has been their defensive security - only three goals have been conceded in five matches, and Boothroyd is quick to point out one of them (at Wimbledon) should not have been awarded due to a foul on goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.

At the heart of that stability has been club captain Kelvin Langmead, a player the manager feels can be relied on to spill blood for the Cobblers cause.

“I think Kelvin has got more blocks than anyone else in the Football League,” he said.

“He’s the kind of player that will get hurt for the cause.

“All of the defenders we’ve got are all very brave players, they put their faces in there knowing they might get cut and that’s the key to defending.”

As well as their defensive strength, Town are powerful from set-pieces.

Ben Tozer’s long throw is into double figures in terms of the number of goals it has produced, and the side are no slouches at corners either.

“We know we’ll score from set plays, we are confident we can get something from them in every game we play,” said the Cobblers boss.

“On Tuesday we got first and second contact on the first seven set-pieces, and I was really happy with that.

“It’s a strange one because the more teams worry about what we’re going to do at set plays the better we are in open play, and vice versa.”