Chris Wilder admits his Cobblers side have enjoyed ‘a great week’ thanks to victories at promotion rivals Leyton Orient and Oxford United.
The Cobblers were 4-0 winners at Brisbane Road last Saturday, and then edged to a 1-0 win at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday, and Wilder believes his players fully deserved their six-point haul.
The wins mean Town are now eight points clear at the top of Sky Bet League Two, and a huge 18 points clear of Accrington Stanley in fourth place, and although Wilder isn’t celebrating anything, he does acknowledge it has been a good few days for him and his players.
Asked if the win on Tuesday was the performance of a champion side, the Town boss said: “We are not there yet, but we have taken another big stride, and it has been a great week for us.
“We had a fantastic performance and result on Saturday, which was well deserved, and on Tuesday we put in a controlled performance against a team that has taken a lot of plaudits this year.
“I believe, and a lot of the supporters do too, that hand on heart we deserved that result.
“The way we played with and without the ball was good, which is what it is all about.
“There was no way we were going to go there and let Oxford get their heads up and play, the boys worked extremely hard to go and press them high up the pitch, and we did a job on them.”
Oxford boss Michael Appleton was not happy after Tuesday’s clash, stating he believed his team didn’t deserve to lose, and pointing the finger at referee Keith Hill.
Appleton was upset at the penalty award for a handball that allowed Marc Richards to score the only goal of the game, and also at various other decisions.
“I don’t go along with the moaning and groaning afterwards about the referee’s decisions, and stuff like that,” said Wilder.
“We did a professional job on Oxford, and took our chance via a penalty decision, and I think you always look at the reaction of players in that instance.
“You looked at the reaction of our players, and every one of them in and around that area stuck their hands up and said ‘that’s a penalty’, and there weren’t many arguments from the Oxford players.
“Sometimes when there is an injustice, players naturally go and surround the referee, but they never.
“It was a decision made, but we thought we had started the second half really well anyway.
“We pressed them, stopped them playing, and when we got it we went to try and score a goal. We were always a threat in that game, and always looked like we could score.”
On Saturday, the Cobblers now entertain another side with promotion ambitions in Wycombe Wanderers, and Wilder knows it is going to be another stiff examination for their side as they go in search of what would be a club record-breaking ninth straight league win.
“We are happy, we have had two fantastic results, and now we go into another difficult game on Saturday looking for another positive result,” said the Cobblers boss.
“A lot of things that have really pleased me about this week, this was a big, heavy week for us with a lot of pressure on the boys, and the way they have gone about their business has been excellent.
“But we will put these two games to bed quickly, as we always do, and get ready for a tough old game on Saturday against Wycombe.”