Tozer says Northampton Town are capable of mixing it up

WE CAN MIX IT UP - Cobblers utility man Ben Tozer
WE CAN MIX IT UP - Cobblers utility man Ben Tozer

Ben Tozer has warned Cheltenham Town to expect the unexpected when they travel to Sixfields for the play-off semi-final first-leg on Thursday night.

Throughout the season the Cobblers have been branded a direct set-piece team, at times with justification.

But Tozer believes the Cobblers have proved they are more than a one-trick pony with their recent performances, especially in the 2-2 draw at Port Vale and Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Barnet.

With Adebayo Akinfenwa rested for both of those games, and Clive Platt injured, the Cobblers have altered their style of play accordingly to play to the strengths of David Moyo and Roy O’Donovan.

The introduction into central midfield of ball-players Luke Guttridge and Lewis Hornby has also led to less long balls and more pass and move, and Tozer says Town have shown they are capable of a mixture of styles, and that could be a problem for the Robins.

“We have the players in this team to pass anybody off the pitch,” said Tozer.

“But the thing is we can mix it up.

“We can bully teams, we can bombard them, and we can pass it as well. It’s a good mix.”

The Cobblers lost both league games to Cheltenham in the regular season, but Tozer doesn’t think that matters now the play-offs are here.

“We have to approach the Cheltenham games knowing we are good enough to beat them, and we know we are,” said the former Newcastle United man.

“It is a three-game season for us now.

“A few games ago it was a four-game season and we could have gone straight up, but that wasn’t to be.

“But I think it’s still a great achievement to finish where we have finished considering the past couple of seasons.”

The Cobblers ended up in sixth place in npower League Two, five points outside the automatic promotion places.

It is a big improvement on the relegation struggles of the past two seasons, and Tozer admitted to having sympathy for the Barnet players that were relegated from league two at Sixfields following the defeat to the Cobblers.

“It is bad luck for Barnet, but we had to be professional and do our jobs,” said Tozer.

“If it was mid-season we would have wanted to beat them, so you have to do it at the end of the season.

“And obviously the way they beat us at their place, we felt like we needed to beat them.

“We started well. Because Barnet were very nervous.

“But we let them get into the game, they had a couple of good chances, but the gaffer had a word with us at half-time and our match management was decent in the second half.

“We dealt with things well and once we got the first goal we felt comfortable and it was game over after the second.”