Jefferson Lake’s Northampton Town v Torquay preview: Boothroyd keeping feet on the ground

Aidy Boothroyd
Aidy Boothroyd
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Aidy Boothroyd made two very interesting comments about the future direction of the Cobblers during his briefing of the press this week.

The first was that Nana, who ends 18 months on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury with the sad news that his contract will not be renewed, is leaving a very different club to the one he joined.

The second was a remark about the status of Northampton Town next season - “we will either be a league one club or a league two club strongly fancied to do well” - was his precise assessment.

Without a doubt, the club has made enormous progress in the past 12 months.

Nobody needs reminding that the team was bottom of the entire Football League in March 2012.

They have cultivated a home record that is better than all of their 91 league counterparts, awarded professional contracts to four youth-team players (itself a substantial achievement) and can be backed at odds of 5/4 to be playing league one football next season.

Their evolution is ongoing - this week they brought in a 21-year-old defender of whom great things are expected in Nathan Cameron while at the same time confirming David Artell will not be recalled from his loan spell at Wrexham.

These may only be minor tweaks but there is little sense is making wholesale changes at such a critical point of the season - just ask Port Vale.

Football is a sport enjoyed by supporters in the present, who reminisce over its past and dream about what its future might bring.

Boothroyd is dead right to focus only on the immediate and will use every fibre of his being to avoid anyone within the club getting carried away by what the team is doing.

He is also correct to point out they have achieved nothing so far this season and will achieve nothing by beating Torquay on Friday night to - potentially - move into the top three.

But the supporters can be excited about the future at a club moving entirely in the right direction.

Over the Easter weekend they get two games and two chances to prove such a statement to be true and to take a couple of very small steps towards achieving something very special.

If I am brutally honest, I did not feel they would be riding this high in the league with a month left on the schedule.

I have had moments of severe doubt in the team this season - notably at Underhill and the New York Stadium - but, regardless of the final league position, they have proved me (and others) wrong.

To be either a league one club or a league two club strongly fancied to do well would delight everyone associated with the club; The players, the staff and the journalists that follow their fortunes.

But most of all it would delight the supporters. The past few years have been a famine at Sixfields. The feast may be about to arrive.