A passionate Dean Austin has given a strong defence of his position as Cobblers boss following their woeful start to the season, insisting he is the right man for the job and suggesting that any potential new manager would struggle to ‘get something different’ out of his underperforming players.
There was a clear change of tack from Austin in the wake of his side’s humiliating 4-0 thrashing at the hands Mansfield Town on Saturday when he was critical of his players during a remarkably candid post-match interview.
Having previously defended his team and taken responsibility upon himself, Austin appears to have run out of patience with certain out-of-form individuals as Town’s miserable start to the campaign plummeted to new depths at the One Call Stadium.
Beaten by Danny Rose’s second-half brace, plus other goals from Timmi Elsnik and CJ Hamilton, the defeat leaves Town hovering dangerously close to the League Two drop zone in 21st with just seven points from their opening 10 fixtures.
Austin spoke to the press within 20 minutes of the full-time whistle on Saturday and it was clear emotions were still running high for a man who has always worn his heart on his sleeve.
“At the moment we’re far too easy to play against,” he scowled. “Listen, I’ll stick up for my players all day long when they’re having a go but how can I come out after that and defend it? I can’t defend it.
Results dictate everything, don’t they? But you’re telling me that a new manager will come in and get something different out of that lot in there (the dressing room)? Good luck with that one.
“I’m a passionate guy and I’m very enthusiastic about my work and I’m very, very positive but when I know how hard we work and how much time we put in as staff to make things right for these boys and give them the best opportunity to go out and perform.
“I know we’re doing everything we can but at the moment it’s not good enough so we’re not doing something right and obviously they’re not doing something right.
“Somewhere along the line, we’ve got to show some arsehole if you like. That’s how I feel about it at the minute.
“We don’t have much confidence and that doesn’t help but how do you get out of it? You do the prerequisites. You work, you run, you fight, you tackle, you press, you head it, you kick it and you fight like mad to keep the ball out of the net.”
The forthright nature of Austin’s words were somewhat surprising but it could be interpreted as a last roll of the dice to try and jolt his players into action after so many failed previous attempts from himself and predecessors Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Justin Edinburgh.
But while there is some sympathy with Austin and the task at hand, the pressure will only heighten on his position as manager and he accepts his fate will ultimately be decided by results.
“I know that I can do the job, don’t worry about that,” he insisted. “It’s not an easy job, particularly at the minute, but I know I am the man for the job.
“Results dictate everything, don’t they? But you’re telling me that a new manager will come in and get something different out of that lot in there (the dressing room)? Good luck with that one.”