Nahki Wells’ midweek comments to the press suggest the mood in Bradford is bullish – and Aidy Boothroyd is delighted about that.
The Bermudan striker, fully aware he has scored five goals in his previous six games against the Cobblers, said he had two more saved for them, and planned to score them at Wembley.
Such exuberance was no doubt bolstered by the two goals Wells scored in Bradford’s play-off semi-finals against Burton Albion.
But confidence can often border on arrogance and Boothroyd, with a smile, said he was pleased to hear such bold predictions emanating from Valley Parade.
“I’m glad they are making comments like that because we’re not a very good team and we’re just going to turn up and enjoy the day,” he said.
“I’ve seen Nahki Wells’ comments about how he always scores and always does well and I thought the manager always picked the team rather than the centre-forward.
“We know Bradford are a good team and I respect Phil (Parkinson) and Steve (Parkin), they’re good lads and I like them a lot.
“When we’re doing our press interviews we’ll both be talking about each other’s teams, because they are so evenly matched.
“Both teams are going to want it so it will be about who thinks and performs the best under pressure; I think in this group we’ve got players who can cope with that.”
Boothroyd will also hope, having seen his defence produce clean sheets in their past three games, that they have the personnel to deal with a Bradford attack spearheaded by the quicksilver Wells.
Nathan Cameron’s error in the 1-0 win at Valley Parade was the game’s turning point but the defender has improved enormously from those days, and was the Cobblers’ best player in the semi-final second leg at Cheltenham.
The centre-back will have a personal score to settle on that front but there will be no specific game plan for Wells, at least not a public one.
“He is a threat, there’s no doubt about that,” said Boothroyd.
“He is a good player. We’ll have a plan for Bradford defensively and we’ll have a plan for them offensively.
“It isn’t all about stopping Nahki Wells, far from it. Bradford are a good team and they haven’t got where they have by accident.
“We think we’re a good team too. We know we’ve got to be at our best to win any game and we won’t get drawn in by comments from players.”
The Cobblers staged a Wembley dress rehearsal on Tuesday, staying at the same hotel they will this week and making the journey to the stadium on the exact same bus.
Bradford have already done a site visit, although their visit to the national stadium ended in humiliation, a 5-0 loss to Swansea City in which they saw little of the ball.
“On the day there will be no surprises,” said Boothroyd.
“Bradford have got there already but don’t forget they lost 5-0 and got a good hiding, so that will be in the back of their minds.
“They will also know they have beaten us twice, but then Cheltenham had that, and Palace and Leeds had that (when Boothroyd’s Watford beat them in 2006).
“I’m pretty calm about these things provided everything has been done and it will all be done and prepared.”