Cobblers boss Wilder: Survival is all that matters

FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE - Cobblers boss Chris Wilder
FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE - Cobblers boss Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder takes his in-form Cobblers team to Newport County on Saturday looking for the win that may take them into the top three in Sky Bet League Two.

But the Town boss accepts the trip to Rodney Parade pales into insignificance when the bigger picture comes into sharp focus - the ‘survival of Northampton Town’.

Everybody knows the bigger picture is the well-being and survival of the club. It has a proud history and tradition, it has been here a long time, and will hopefully be here a long time after I have gone, and after the players have gone, and that is the most important thing

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder

“We want to win football matches, but the main event is that the club survives,” said Wilder.

“All we can do is control our part of it, which is us working extremely hard and making sure we give our 100 per cent best for the club, the shirt and the supporters, and that is what we have done.

“We have a tough game on Saturday, but everybody knows the bigger picture is the well-being and survival of the club.

“It has a proud history and tradition, it has been here a long time, and will hopefully be here a long time after I have gone, and after the players have gone, and that is the most important thing.”

Throughout the financial uncertainty that has engulfed the club since news first broke of a takeover in June, Wilder has been a rock steady hand at the helm. He has straight-batted difficult questions like Geoff Boycott in his prime, and made it clear his focus is on the football. Until now.

This week, with the news that he, the players and all the staff at Sixfields are unlikely to be paid their wages on time, Wilder for the first time openly admitted his concern and disappointment at the club’s predicament.

“I came to this football club not expecting what is going off at the moment,” said Wilder, who quit Oxford United to take over at the Cobblers in January, 2014.

“I left a decent job to come here, and so did all the players.

“These are my players because they are players that I have brought to the football club on the back of what we believed at the time was going to be a bright future.

“So to have this uncertainty now is disappointing for myself, and disappointing for the players.

“Hopefully we can come through this period as a football club and move forward.

“As I said, the main event isn’t really Saturday at Newport, it is what happens to this football club. Hopefully the right decision will be made by everybody else.

“I can only speak of what I know, and if we do get through this period then I am sure we will have a bright future ahead of 
us.”

Wilder also revealed that although he and the players have constantly stated that they have been ignoring off-field matters and ‘just getting on with it’, that hasn’t necessarily been the case behind the scenes as he praised their focus.

“The players are a committed group, and I am an honest manager,” said Wilder.

“I am not in anybody’s camp, apart from doing the right thing for the players.

“That is how I have worked, and the players deserve to know what is happening.

“I have kept them abreast of what is happening as much as I know, and they know that and deserve an unbelievable amount of praise for the way they have kept their focus.

“Yeah, they have been getting paid and not a lot has greatly changed the way they have been treated, but the uncertainty is there and they have to deal with it, as we all do.”

It’s not just the effort of the players that has impressed Wilder, it’s virtually everybody else connected with the club as well.

“I am delighted with how everybody involved or connected with the football club, from the staff to people who work in the offices, has reacted,” said the Cobblers boss.

“The supporters have conducted themselves in a magnificent way, and in a perverse way it has all brought the club closer together, on and off the pitch.

“It is a really difficult position, but these things happen at football clubs at this level, and it’s how you react.

“I think everybody has reacted in a tremendous way and we can hold our heads high and be proud of the way we have conducted ourselves.”