Crooks pleads with fans to stick with Cobblers as team strives to hit top form

BAD DAY - Matt Crooks shows his disappointment at Charlton last Saturday
BAD DAY - Matt Crooks shows his disappointment at Charlton last Saturday

Matt Crooks says he understands the supporters’ frustrations at the Cobblers’ slow start to the season - but insists he and his team-mates will get things right.

Town have lost four out of four in what has been a terrible start to the season in terms of results, and that has left many fans fearing the worst ahead of Saturday’s big derby date with old rivals Peterborough United, who have made a 100 per cent winning start in Sky Bet League One.

Matt Crooks in action in the 4-1 defeat at Charlton

Matt Crooks in action in the 4-1 defeat at Charlton

Despite plenty of summer investment and 14 new signings, Town have failed to hit the ground running and the club’s run without a competitive win is now 12 matches, and stretches back to March 14.

Last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at Charlton was the low point of the opening four games of the campaign, and although Crooks accepts some supporters will not be happy, he has urged them to stick with the team.

Asked if he understood the fans’ frustration, Crooks said: “Of course I understand it, I have been a fan myself and you want to win games, everybody wants to win games.

“We are getting frustrated ourselves as well, but we have to keep progressing as a team, and as individuals, and try and get that win.

Sometimes it doesn’t happen straight away, and it hasn’t for us, but there is plenty of time and there are a lot of games left, so we have to just keep going. We know we have a good squad, and we know we have good players, we just have to put it all together now

Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks

“Sometimes it doesn’t happen straight away, and it hasn’t for us, but there is plenty of time and there are a lot of games left, so we have to just keep going.

“We know we have a good squad, and we know we have good players, we just have to put it all together now. We did have a few chances at the weekend (at Charlton), and we had chances at QPR, but we have just not taken them.”

Despite the league one season being only 270 minutes old, there does seem to be a lot of anxiety among the Cobblers support, but Crooks doesn’t feel he or the players are under pressure.

Asked if there is a feeling of pressure at Sixfields, the former Rangers man said: “I don’t think so.

“We just have to go into games and try and pick up three points, that is all you can do. I don’t know if anybody else is feeling pressure, but I’m not, it’s fine.”

Along with the majority of his team-mates, Crooks will be playing in his first Cobblers-Posh derby at the weekend, and he is looking forward to the experience of playing in front of a near sell-out crowd at Sixfields.

“Derbies are big games,” said Crooks. “Obviously there was the big one in Scotland, and I have played in a couple in league two against Morecambe (when he was at Accrington), and derbies are obviously big for the fans.

“They are big for the players as well as you can feel the atmosphere in the ground, and it is a perfect opportunity for us to get the three points at home in a derby.

“That would be a good way to kick off our season properly.”

And does that big-match atmosphere raise a player’s game?

“It does, it has to,” said the 23-year-old, who has started all four of Town’s fixtures to date. “You want to play on the biggest stage you can, and a derby is the biggest stage at that point in the season, and I am looking forward to it.”