Justin Edinburgh has warned his players and the Cobblers supporters not to get ‘distracted’ as Ricky Holmes makes his first return to Sixfields since leaving the club last summer.
One of the star players in Town’s imperious march towards the Sky Bet League Two title last season, Holmes’s return with Charlton Athletic is sure to grab plenty of attention on Saturday, but Edinburgh is only interested in one thing - claiming three precious league points.
Holmes was a main man and scored a series of stunning goals as the Cobblers romped to the league two title by 13 points last May, but following manager Chris Wilder’s decision to quit the club for Sheffield United, the player was sold to the Addicks for an undisclosed fee.
The majority of Town supporters didn’t begrudge the player his move to The Valley, although some weren’t happy, and he is likely to provoke a reaction, good or bad, when he strides out on his old stomping ground this weekemnd.
And although Edinburgh accepts Cobblers supporters arelikely to want to show their appreciation towards the player, he wants it restricted to pre and post match.
“I know that Ricky Holmes played a huge part in the promotion last year, but let’s not get distracted,” said the Town manager.
“I am fully aware of him, we will have to be mindful of him, but we have to think first and foremost about ourselves.
“There is no sentiment in football, for me there should be no homecoming, it is about Northampton.
“It’s irrelevant. The crowd can appreciate Ricky before the game and after it, but for me he is the opposition, and we need to beat them.
“That is the way I will approach it, and the points are more important to us than a welcoming for Ricky Holmes.”