Dean Austin will not be discussing his own position at Sixfields until after the Cobblers’ Sky Bet League One swansong this Saturday - but has admitted he he is ‘very ambitious’ and he feels he has given the team ‘an identity’ over his four-game spell as caretaker boss.
Austin takes the reins as the caretaker boss for the fifth and final time for Saturday’s Sixfields date with Oldham Athletic, before sitting down with chairman Kelvin Thomas to discuss his future.
I am very ambitious, but I am ambitious because I want to prove myself every day of my life, and that is what I try to put across to my playersCobblers caretaker boss Dean Austin
Austin is the bookmakers’ favourite to become the next permanent Town manager, and has certainly done his chances no harm with his enthusiasm and drive over the past month.
He has injected belief, confidence and an energy into a Cobblers team that previously at times looked listless and confused, and although it wasn’t enough to stave off relegation, it has offered up hope Town could be genuine contenders to come straight back up next season.
Whether it will be Austin in charge of that challenge remains to be seen, but the former Watford assistant boss said: “I am very ambitious, but I am ambitious because I want to prove myself every day of my life, and that is what I try to put across to my players.
“That is the environment I have tried to create in the past month.
“I understand from the supporters’ point of view, that a Saturday, or the game day, is the cherry on the top of the cake, but there is lot of work that goes in from the Monday to the Friday.
“I like my team to have an identity, and I think we have played with an identity in the past four games.”
Austin will be hoping that identity continues into this weekend’s clash with Oldham, who travel south needing a win to ensure they don’t follow the Cobblers into league two.
Town have little more than pride to play for after the last-gasp 1-0 loss to Walsall on Saturday condemned them to relegation due to their inferior goal difference.
But Austin believes pride is more than enough reason for the team to give their best, as well as rewarding the club’s loyal supporters, particularly the army of fans who backed the team so brilliantly at the Bescot Stadium last Saturday.
“You play for pride every game, this is not about Saturday this is every game,” said Austin.
“For me, when we go out we are playing for the badge on the shirt, we are playing for our fans that come and support us and have been brilliant.
“It is a little bit more this week, because on Saturday we had 2,000 fans at Walsall that were absolutely phenomenal, and I want them to come back.
“Obviously it is a big day for Oldham, and they are probably going to bring 1,000 or 1,500, but this is no different for us now we are out of things at this stage.
“It is a game of football, and it is a game of football I want to win.”