Keep calm and carry on. That was the message from Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd after Tuesday night’s npower League Two results went against his side.
Burton Albion enjoyed a 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers to leapfrog Town and go third, and they now lead Boothroyd’s men by two points although Town have a crucial game in hand.
Rotherham United were also emphatic 4-1 winners over Exeter City to move to sixth and to within a point of the Cobblers having played the same number of games, while a resurgent Bradford City maintained their impressive form with a 4-1 Valley Parade win over Bristol Rovers.
That win lifts the Bantams above Exeter and into the final play-off place in seventh, and the West Yorkshire side now have to be seen as realistic top three contenders as they trail the Cobblers by four points with four games to play, with three of those against Rotherham, Burton and Cheltenham.
The one plus for the Town on Tuesday was that second-placed Port Vale could only draw 1-1 with rock-bottom Aldershot, a result that just about keeps them in the Cobblers’ range.
Vale are seven points better off that Town, but have played a game more, and the teams meet at Vale Park on April 20.
The league two table looks less healthy today for Cobblers supporters than it did this time yesterday, but the fact remains their promotion fate remains in their own hands, thanks to the game in hand they have over Burton and fifth-placed Cheltenham Town.
And Boothroyd, who was the the New York Stadium to take in Rotherham’s trouncing of Exeter last night, said: “We just have to focus on what we are doing.
“If we start looking at what everybody else is doing then we will have a problem.
“I went to Port Vale on Friday night and was hoping for a 0-0 draw or both teams to lose!
“But I came away having seen eight goals (Vale won 7-1), and you just don’t know what you are going to get at this stage of the season.
“We just have to focus on us and make sure we get our results, and if we get our results right then that’s what matters.”
The Cobblers are back in action on Saturday when they host second-from-bottom York City at Sixfields (ko 3pm), they then go to Wycombe next Tuesday, Port Vale on April 20 and end the regular season with a home date against Barnet on April 27.