The hard work starts now for Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh as he looks to bring in the quality required to prevent below-par performances such as the one in Sunday’s goalless draw with Gillingham from happening again next season.
In another example of their struggles of late, Northampton created few clear-cut chances to sign off the season with a drab 0-0 draw that will only give Edinburgh further reason to overhaul his squad this summer.
I look forward to coming back here next season with my own squad and really getting my teeth into the opportunity that I’ve been given at this club with the backing of the chairman and the board and most importantly the fans.
Gillingham missed a penalty and had the better of the chances, with Marc Richards’ free header from six yards the only opportunity of note for the home side.
“We wanted to finish on a high and we wanted to record another victory at home and send everyone away happy but it wasn’t to be,” said Edinburgh afterwards.
“When I came in I had a real positive reaction from everyone but I think our play of late has petered out and we’ve found it difficult.
“The remit for me was to make sure that we stayed in the division and we’ve done that but there’s improvements to be made and it’s my job to do that.
“Our passing and our decision-making followed on from the last couple of weeks and from the Millwall game.”
Sunday’s contest was always going to be a difficult one given Gillingham’s need for points in their battle against the drop, and the point was enough to keep them up courtesy of Port Vale’s failure to beat Fleetwood.
“They were fighting for their lives and they needed a result to stay in the division but that wasn’t the case for us because we accomplished what we needed to do with games to spare,” added Edinburgh.
“They defended well and I can’t fault my players’ effort but we need more than that to go to the level of chasing down a top 10 place next season.
“That’s not going to be easy but we need to make sure we get the balance for next year right and the recruitment is right.
“I look forward to coming back here next season with my own squad and really getting my teeth into the opportunity that I’ve been given at this club with the backing of the chairman and the board and most importantly the fans.”
One of the few good performances on Sunday came in goal where David Cornell, in for first choice keeper Adam Smith, pulled off an excellent early penalty save from Josh Wright.
Edinburgh continued: “I’m pleased for David. He’s had to be patient. It was a big call and Smudge was disappointed but I felt David deserved an opportunity.
“He’s contracted here for next season and I needed to have a look at him in competitive games.”