Boss Page stresses high-flying Cobblers can and will improve after steady start

Having already made impressive strides under his stewardship so far this season, Cobblers boss Rob Page insists his side still have plenty of room for improvement following Saturday's 3-2 win over Bury which took them up to fifth in Sky Bet League One.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 31st October 2016, 6:29 am
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:54 am
ALL SMILES: Rob Page and his counterpart David Flitcroft share a pre-match joke. Pictures: Sharon Lucey
ALL SMILES: Rob Page and his counterpart David Flitcroft share a pre-match joke. Pictures: Sharon Lucey

Northampton’s form has been somewhat indifferent since Page’s arrival in the summer, with encouraging wins followed by dispiriting defeats, but their response to the humbling derby loss at rivals Peterborough two weeks ago has been impressive, albeit against two sides badly lacking in form.

With wins over Shrewsbury and then Bury, scoring seven goals in the process, the Cobblers are now the division’s second top scorers and have soared up to fifth in a congested League One table.

But Page knows there are still areas of his side’s game that must be refined if they are to continue their excellent start and maintain a prolonged promotion challenge.

“There’s always thing to improve on,” he said after Saturday’s win over Bury.

“We’ve scored three goals and picked up three points yet we’re disappointed so that shows how far this club have come and where we want to go.

“As soon as we start thinking we’re the finished article, football has a funny habit of biting you on the backside.

“We won’t do that at all - we’ll work hard in training on Monday to right the wrongs of Saturday and build on what we’ve done.

“I think we’re a threat for any team in this division and I’m really pleased with back-to-back wins going into a little break and a cup tie that we’re looking forward to.

“We’re still taking each game as it comes. We’re in a great position but we know there’s room for improvement and we know we can build on that.

“We’re not here to make the numbers up – we’re here to compete and now we’re over a third of the way through the season, we’ve proven that we’re a match for anybody.”

Northampton took a while to find their groove against Bury on Saturday but once Marc Richards tucked home Matty Taylor’s free-kick, there only looked one winner.

That goal triggered a flurry of Northampton chances either side of half-time with Richards and then Taylor doing enough to secure victory despite a late wobble.

“I switched it and went with Matty and Jak (McCourt) sitting just to give us a bit more protection and get that extra body on the ball to play through,” revealed Page on how Northampton went through the gears in the first-half.

“Then we got Brendan (Moloney) on the ball and attacking down the sides and he’s one of the best attacking full-backs in the league.

“When you get him on the ball he makes us play at times, and then Jak and Matty dropped deeper and got on the ball to make us play which certainly helped us.

“Sam (Hoskins) found pockets of space so that little tweak helped us and we could have been a couple of goals to the good at half-time.

“We didn’t do that second-half – the second goal came from one long ball down the side and we didn’t deal with it.

“We sat back so that’s something to address because when you’re 3-0 up it’s important to keep doing the right things that got you 3-0 up instead of sitting back and inviting pressure.”