Knill confident Cobblers can control play-off destiny

Cobblers assistant boss Alan Knill
Cobblers assistant boss Alan Knill
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Alan Knill is confident the Cobblers can still be the masters of their own play-off destiny despite the gap between them and the top seven growing to four points on Tuesday night.

The midweek round of fixtures were not too damaging to Town’s promotion pursuit, with the 2-0 home defeat to Carlisle United only seeing them slip a single point off the pace.

And the blow was cushioned with the news that the scan on winger Ricky Holmes’ knee showed no damage and the player has been given the all clear to return to training.

Northampton now play two games against teams from inside the play-off zone, travelling to fourth-placed Bury on Saturday and facing Luton, who are sixth, a week later.

“These are two big games for us and they give us an opportunity to put what happened on Tuesday night right,” said assistant manager Knill.

“We’re all just thinking about the next game, focusing on that and then seeing where it takes us and what the situation is.

“At Christmas, getting to 50 points looked a long way off and we probably would have taken that at that point because we were on 24 for what felt like ages.

“We know now that it’s in our hands - if we play well, we get in there (the top seven), it’s as simple as that.”

Holmes’ place in the matchday squad for the game at Gigg Lane remains in doubt but Knill feels the team can deal with injuries much better now than they did prior to Christmas and during a period in which as many as 10 first-teamers were in the treatment room.

“I think the squad is better equipped to deal with that (losing players to injury) now and the bench is better equipped too,” he said.

“The system that we’re playing suits the players better now and before Christmas perhaps we didn’t have the personnel to play the way we wanted to play.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting run-in for us.”