Assistant boss Knill believes Cobblers’ experience could be key

KEEPING IT LOW KEY - Cobblers assistant boss Alan Knill (right) and manager Chris Wilder
KEEPING IT LOW KEY - Cobblers assistant boss Alan Knill (right) and manager Chris Wilder

Assistant boss Alan Knill believes the Cobblers players’ ‘big game’ experience will stand them in good stead for Tuesday night’s Sky Bet League Two promotion battle at Oxford United (ko 7.45pm).

Town travel to the Kassam Stadium knowing a win will see them open up an eight-point gap at the the top of table, see them go 12 points clear of the third-placed Us, and 18 ahead of fourth-placed Wycombe.

So the stakes are high, and the carrrot being dangled in front of the Cobblers players is a big one, but Knill insists the squad will approach the match just like they do any other.

“It is funny, because it seems like every game since October has been a big game for us, and both teams will want to win this one for different reasons,” said Knill.

“We want to win to stay at the top, we have got ourselves there and want to stay there, and Oxford want to win to close the gap on us and also to stay away from what is chasing them.

“A few weeks ago we played Plymouth when they were top of the league, so it is a big game, but we have played a lot of big games and we are used to them.

“It is two good teams, both clubs have good squads, good players, and it should be a good spectacle for those who go to the game.”

Around 2,000 Cobblers fans are travelling to Oxford and there will be a bumper crowd inside the Kassam, with the home side desperate to re-ignite their own title challenge.

It has the feeling of a pivotal game in what has been a brilliant season for the Cobblers, but Knill is keeping it low key and insists all he and manager Chris Wilder are concentrating on is their own team’s performance.

“We won’t be preparing any differently for this game than we did for Leyton Orient,” said the Town assistant boss.

“If we play at our best then we know we are capable of giving anybody in the league a game, as we have shown.

“So for us, it is about being at our best, and then worry about Oxford after that.

“Oxford are a good footballing side. We have seen them this season, they have done well, as have other teams, but as I said before it’s not really about what they do.

“It’s about concentrating on what we do, and we have done that all season.

“If we play well, then we can let the opposition worry about us.

“It is just another game, and it doesn’t matter who the opposition is.”