Cobblers boss Rob Page admits he would be happy to ‘win ugly’ at Oxford United on Boxing Day (ko 3pm).
As with most managers, Page has an ideal way he would like to see his team performing and winning with it, but after a run of six defeats in seven games, the Town boss admits it is now all about simply getting a result.
He wants a win at Oxford on Monday, and admits he doesn’t care how he gets it.
“We want to win games, our supporters want us to win games of football, and they would rather us have won ugly last Saturday and got the three points,” said Page.
“It is about getting the balance right, because you don’t want to win ugly every week, but you don’t want to play pretty football and not get the wins.
“So yes, we will take an ugly win.
“If we win 1-0 and it’s not the greatest game in the world, we will take that just to get back to winning ways.”
Oxford, who were promoted along with the Cobblers in May, endured a difficult start to the season, but are now on an eight-match unbeaten run that has seen them climb to 11th in the Sky Bet League One table,
That said, if the Cobblers win at the Kassam Stadium they will leapfrog Michael Appleton’s side, and with testing fixtures to follow at promotion chasers Sheffield United (Dec 31) and Bradford City (Jan 2), and then another road trip to Bristol Rovers on January 7, things aren’t going to get any easier any time soon.
Page says that is all part and parcel of life in league one.
“This is a strong division, and we are going up against Oxford, Sheffield United, Bradford and Bristol Rovers,” said the Cobblers boss..
“Certainly Sheffield United and Bradford are in a fantastic position at the minute, and Oxford are full of confidence, but we can’t worry about that, we can only worry about ourselves and get ourselves right mentally and physically.
“We have to prepare right to go into this game with the confidence we can go into it and win it.”
Page made just one change to the team beaten in the FA Cup at non-League Stourbridge for last weeekend’s loss to Rochdale, but he hinted he may shuffle his pack a bit more for Boxing Day.
Although he wasn’t giving oo much away.
“There comes a time when I can’t look at the other players in the squad, and keep saying ‘we have lost games, and as much as you are training hard and have a great attitude’, I can’t keep doing that to them,” said the Cobblers boss.
“There comes a time when you might have to look at changes, and like I said we are looking for players to step up to the plate.
“These are great games to play in, great games to go and give a good account of yourself.
“You can come knocking on my door and tell me you think you should be in the team, well if you get your opportunity go and show it.
“You take from that what you want, and there might be changes there might not.
“We will have look at it and we go with what we feel will givs us the best opportunity of winning on Boxing Day.”