Richards: Wilder will find the winning formula for Cobblers

CONFIDENT - Cobblers striker Marc Richards believes Chris Wilder will find a winning formula for the team next season (Pictures: Sharon Lucey)
CONFIDENT - Cobblers striker Marc Richards believes Chris Wilder will find a winning formula for the team next season (Pictures: Sharon Lucey)

Ahead of Monday’s Sixfields cull, Chris Wilder assured Cobblers fans that he would ‘get it right’ this summer.

He then swiftly disposed of seven players, including Lee Collins and Matt Duke, and transfer-listed two more as preparations for next season started in earnest.

It is the kind of no nonsense approach that managers have to take at this time of the year.

And one that Wilder, a bullish character, was never likely to shy away from.

With a no-nonsense approach that resembles Peter Kay in the John Smiths adverts, the 47-year-old lets his players “’ave it” in no uncertain terms.

And that, says Marc Richards, is what makes his manager the perfect man for the ongoing Sixfields rebuilding job.

“You’ve seen during the season that he doesn’t beat around the bush,” said the striker. “He basically tells you how it is and as a player you need that.

“If players aren’t pulling their weight they get told so it’s going to be one of them next season.

“There will be pressure on because the chairman will want success, the manager will want success and the players who are here will want success.

“Ultimately, players will come in, but we’ll need to have that spirit.

“We have got good spirit but there is a soft touch to our side and hopefully that will get resolved in pre-season.

“Whatever players come in and whatever players go out, it’s going to be a tough change, but it’s part and parcel of football.”

At times, during the campaign which ended with a 3-2 defeat at home to Wycombe last weekend, there were doubts surrounding Wilder’s managerial prowess.

Some felt he wasn’t the right man for the job, especially after a run of just two wins in 16 games between October and January.

But he eventually steered the ship out of those choppy waters, with January bringing new players and new hope to Sixfields.

The club eventually finished 12th after flirting with the top seven following a run of nine wins in 12 games.

And the supporters now have renewed optimism for what lies ahead in the 2015/16 season.

Richards, now in his second spell at the club, is a big reason for that with his 18 goals in 36 appearances earning him the supporters’ player of the season prize.

And he is delighted to have repaid them for their faith in him and the team.

“My first time around I remember not hitting the net for 20-odd games and they stuck by me,” said Richards, who was at Town between 2003 and 2005. “I owe them one from that.

“They’ve been a credit to themselves and they’ve been brilliant for me. Hopefully I’ve repaid them this season and can continue to do so next season.”

Richards’ fitness will be key if Cobblers are to mount a promotion challenge next season.

And following a couple of injuries that eventually hampered his bid to win the League Two Golden Boot, he will be taking steps to safeguard himself this summer.

“My Achilles does need a break, but I don’t like to have too much of one,” said the 32-year-old.

“I’m the wrong side of 30 so I need to come back all guns blazing for next season.

“Hopefully I can get on top of these injuries that I keep picking up.

“They’re just niggly little injuries from a bit of overuse and maybe I need to be a little more cautious next season.”