Club captain David Buchanan has called on the Cobblers supporters to pack out Sixfields this weekend, saying ‘this team needs them more than ever’.
A surivor from the club’s Sky Bet League Two title-winning team of 2015/16, Buchanan is banking on a repeat of the club spirit and strength from that financially troubled yet glorious season as Town try to save their league one skins in 2018.
The Cobblers entertain play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, knowing only a win will do if they are to stand a chance of going on to avoid the drop back to the Football League basement division, less than two years after promotion.
A 7,000-plus crowd is expected at Sixfields, with Argyle already selling out their near 1,500 allocation, and Buchanan has called on the home fans that turn out to do their bit to be the team’s 12th man as they chase the three wins they are going to need from their final three games of the campaign to have a hope of surviving.
“We are all supporters ourselves, and I keep saying this, I love this football club, whether I am in the team or not,” said the left-back, who joined the Cobblers in the summer of 2015, and has played 140 times for the club.
“It is difficult for the fans because we haven’t produced good enough performances on the pitch, and that is a fact, it is why we are sat where we are, but we are all Cobblers fans.
These people are Cobblers fans through and through, and on Saturday this team needs them more than ever, and I know they will be there... it is an unbelievable feeling as a player, to know that the punters are right behind youCobblers club captain David Buchanan
“The supporters here are going to support their team whether they are in league two, the Conference or the Premier League.
“These people are Cobblers fans through and through, and on Saturday this team needs them more than ever, and I know they will be there.
“There may be some boos and jeers if it’s not going right, but ultimately we all have to pull in one direction because we need everything we can to get the three wins we need on the board.
“It is going to be difficult, but we are a team together on and off the pitch, and the more they get behind us when it’s not going well, the more confidence it gives you as a player.
“It is an unbelievable feeling as a player, to know that the punters are right behind you. For the majority of the time I have been here, home and away, they follow us in numbers and they get right behind us.
“And on Saturday, I know for a fact that come that first whistle they will be right up for the game and it is up to us as a team to get out of the blocks and keep them in full voice.”
Nobody will forget the drama of the title-winning campaign of just two years ago, but it was the financial crisis that engulfed the club earlier in that campaign that proved to Buchanan just what can be achieved with spirit and togetherness.
“The likes of myself, John-Joe (O’Toole), Brenners (Brendan Moloney) and Sammy Hoskins have been here when the times were at their worst,” said the former Preston man.
“We’ve seen what happens if you stick together, and what you can do with a group of lads who really fight for each other, you can be really successful.
“There is no doubt that we have a group of players here that can do that, and we will keep fighting for every point until it is mathematically decided what league we are in.”
Plymouth arrive at Sixfields sitting one place outside the play-offs, which is remarkable when you consider they were in the relegation zone in November.
They have pieced together a fantastic run of form to storm up the league one table, but they were beaten in their most recent away game at Charlton - having previously not lost on the road since December.
Town have endured a terrible time since early February, but did seal that dramatic 3-2 win at Bury last weekend, and Buchanan says that result has boosted belief.
“It is going to be a tough ask for us to stay up, but we are all in a positive mindset, “ he said.
“We are going into the Plymouth game with a bit more confidence behind us, a bit more belief about what we are doing, but we are under no illusions how difficult it is going to be.
“They are a team on the up and are looking to get into the play-offs, and have had a fantastic run.
“It is going to be a difficult game, but come Saturday at 5pm, hopefully we will have three more points on the board.”