Cobblers boss Wilder expecting to face ‘Stevenage of old’

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder
Cobblers boss Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder believes his Cobblers team will be coming up against the ‘Stevenage of old’ when the two teams meet at Broadhall Way on Saturday afternoon.

Sky Bet League Two leaders Northampton travel to Hertfordshire to take on the team sitting third bottom in the table.

Stevenage opted for a change in direction last summer when the employed Teddy Sheringham as manager following the departure of Graham Westley.

The plan was for the former England international to transform the playing style at the club, but after an underwhelming start to the season, the club decided to sack Sheringham at the end of January and start again.

They turned to Sheringham’s first team coach, and a former youth team coach at Stevenage, Darren Sarll to take the helm in a caretaker capacity, and Wilder feels Sarll has reverted to a style of play more familiar to league two.

“I went to watch Stevenage three or four weeks ago, and they seemed to be the Stevenage of old,” said the Cobblers boss.

“They were hard to play against, they were tough, competitive and there were bits and pieces that possibly used to be associated with Stevenage were coming back into their play.

“They have a young manager that really wants to do well for himself.

“He has been there a few years and is highly thought of at that football club.”

The Cobblers go into the game on the back of a 1-1 Sixfields draw with Cambridge United, and Wilder added: “Stevenage turned over Cambridge a few weeks ago pretty comfortably, so we understand the challenge we are going to have there on Saturday.

“It is a challenge comes with the territory, and we have overcome it enough times already to know that it is not going to a shock to us.

“We know and expect what is to come, but my players are dealing with that, and will deal with it in the next 10 games.”

Sarll did have an instant impact when he took over, claiming two wins in his first three matches, but Stevenage have lost their past four without scoring a goal.

They dropped to third bottom in the league on Tuesday night thanks to Hartlepool gaining a point from their 0-0 draw at Newport County.

The plus side for Stevenage is they are still seven points above the league two relegation zone.