Boss Edinburgh confident Cobblers will handle the pressure in crucial Sixfields clashes

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh
Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

Boss Justin Edinburgh is confident his players will handle the the pressure as the Cobblers prepare for two huge relegation battles at Sixfields in the space of three days.

Town entertain second-from-bottom Chesterfield on Saturday (ko 3pm), and then host fifth-bottom Swindon on Tuesday night.

Other teams have to know that they have come up against a Northampton team that has fought hard against them, has worked hard, and has been aggressive in their approach

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

With the Cobblers sitting in 16th place in the Sky Bet League One table, five points above the relegation zone, Edinburgh knows a couple of victories would go a long way to securing the club’s safety this season.

But he also knows that draws or defeats could see Town dragged deeper into a relegation battle as the season enters the final third.

Edinburgh has only been in charge of the Cobblers for three games, winning one and losing two, but he has seen enough from his squad to go into these crucial clashes full of belief, and he expects his players to feel exactly the same.

The key to the club’s survival is going to be the home form, and Edinburgh was encouraged by the recent Sixfields win over Coventry City, as well as last weekend’s performance in the defeat at Walsall.

“We are where we are, but we have to make Sixfields a fortress and that has to be our mentality,” said the Cobblers boss.

“We can’t think ‘oh, these are teams around us’, whoever comes to Sixfields between now and the end of the season has to know that if they get anything, then they will have had to work damn hard for it.

“They have to know that they have come up against a team that has fought hard against them, has worked hard, and has been aggressive in their approach.

“That is the way we have to be, we want teams coming off the pitch knowing they have been in a battle, like Walsall did.

“Walsall had to put in an unbelievable shift, had to play well, and they are a team that is in form, but they were pushed seriously all the way and beyond by Northampton.

“That is what it has to be week in, week out, but certainly at home. It has to be our mindset.”

Edinburgh is also keen for the club’s supporters to play their part, having been encouraged by their positive backing in his only home game to date, the 3-0 win over the Sky Blues a fortnight ago.

“We have back-to-back home games, big games, and they are ones we are looking forward to,” said the Cobblers boss.

“We were really pleased to get off to a good start in the first game at home, and what I did note is that the crowd were very good, and we are going to need that on Saturday and Tuesday.

“We need them to get behind us, because these are two games where we need to get some points.

“There is no guarantees, but we have to be looking to win these games.”

Chesterfield arrive at Sixfields in poor form, and seven points adrift of the Cobblers.

They know it is a game they really can’t afford to lose, but they have scored just one goal in their past eight games and confidence is low.

Last Saturday they were beaten 1-0 at home by fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic, who were reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Like the Cobblers, the Spireites have a new manager, with Scotsman Gary Caldwell - who was one of the bookies’ favourites for the Cobblers job following the sacking of Rob Page - taking over at the Proact Stadium a week after Edinburgh was unveiled as the boss at Sixfields.

Caldwell was in charge of Wigan Athletic as they won the league one title last season, but lost his job after a bad start to the season in the Championship.

“Gary Caldwell knows the league well, won it last season with Wigan, so is fully equipped and understands the league,” said the Cobblers boss.

“A bit like myself, he is still trying to put his stamp on to his group of players, but to be honest we are at home, and have to be looking to win these games.”