Wilder urges improvement from his ‘outstanding’ Cobblers for one final push

FINAL FURLONG: Wilder wants to finish a memorable season in style (pictures by Sharon Lucey)
FINAL FURLONG: Wilder wants to finish a memorable season in style (pictures by Sharon Lucey)

Promotion has long since been secured and the title is safely in the bag but that won’t stop Northampton manager Chris Wilder from demanding his side maintain their high standards and finish a memorable season in style.

Aside from last Tuesday’s dominant win over Crawley Town, the Cobblers have struggled to find their best form over the last month or so, reflected in their results with five draws in the last six – the latest coming at Yeovil Town on Saturday.

But they remain unbeaten since before Christmas – a club record 22 games ago – and now Wilder wants his players to finish the season with one final flourish ahead of the visit of Luton this weekend and then the trip to Portsmouth on the last day.

He said: “We have to play better and make sure we’re focussed. I’ve said that to the players and I’m sorry but that’s how I am and that’s how Alan (Knill) is.

“We demand high standards wherever we go and if it isn’t then we talk about it.

“We need to have a big week this week because it’ll be a special, special occasion and Luton will fancy their chances because they’ve picked up and won at Oxford and other places under a new manager.

“We’ll get our heads right this week and have a good week in training and then hopefully do it in style.”

Cobblers are currently 12 points clear of second-placed Accrington Stanley, a commanding margin that has been created thanks to a remarkable unbeaten run which stretches all the way back to December 19 and a 2-1 at home defeat to Portsmouth.

Wilder added: “The start was obviously disappointing because the Portsmouth game was a real entertaining match and we got done at the death.

“But they’ve shown great qualities and to show the consistency they’ve shown in performances and results is outstanding and all those other teams that have been nipping at us all season have not shown anywhere near the consistency that we have.

“That’s the reason we’re well clear – we turn up every game.

“You look at games on Saturday and they’re dangerous games. Yeovil have done fantastically well to get themselves out of the position they were in and they played with the freedom that comes with them being safe.

“But as always, the consistent sides are the one who produce it week in, week out and day in, day out and turn in performances in training and want to do well.

“We did that on Saturday and the players are disappointed not to have won which is a great quality to have.”