Cobblers defender Bunney says rival Buchs has been a big support

David Buchanan has not played for the Cobblers since early January
David Buchanan has not played for the Cobblers since early January

They may be direct rivals for a place in the Cobblers first team, but Joe Bunney says he and Davd Buchanan are big pals off the pitch.

The former Rochdale man signed on at Sixfields for an undisclosed fee in January, and since his arrival has kept fans’ favourite Buchanan out of the Town first team picture.

Joe Bunney celebrates with John-Joe O'Toole after the pair combined for the Cobblers' goal at Blackburn Rovers

Joe Bunney celebrates with John-Joe O'Toole after the pair combined for the Cobblers' goal at Blackburn Rovers

Brought to the club to provide a more attacking edge from full-back, Bunney’s arrival means Buchanan hasn’t featured for the Cobblers since early January, and that must be a shock to the system of a player who was a constant presence in the side for his first two-and-a-half years at the club.

But Bunney says Buchanan has been nothing but supportive to him since he became a Cobbler, with the fact that Buchanan is a Rochdale boy like him only helping their relationship.

“I am good friends with Buchs, he is a lad from Rochdale so he comes to games and he knows a few of the lads, and we have a lot of mutual friends,” said Bunney, who is set to make his eighth appearance for the Cobblers in Saturday’s trip to Bristol Rovers.

“Since I have walked through the door here, Buchs has been superb with me and it works vice-versa.

Since I have walked through the door here, Buchs has been superb with me and it works vice-versa

Cobblers defender Joe Bunney

“If he plays I will support him if he does well and keeps me out of the team, but while I am in he team he is supporting me and is supporting the team.”

So is there an extra edge to training as Buchanan tries to impress manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and win his place back?

“There has always been a competitive edge in training since I have been here, because there has been six or seven new signings,” said Bunney.

“So it has always been competitive, whether it was like that before I got here I’m not sure, but every day in training everybody is fighting for their places.”

With such a big squad at Sixfields there is a battle for selection.

Nine new players were been signed in the January transfer window, and a 10th joined this week in the form of striker Kevin Luckassen, and Bunney believes all that activity has led to the inconsistent performances the team have been producing lately, especially at home.

Asked about the struggle for performing strongly on a regular basis, the former Dale man said: “I think it is because we have a lot of new players.

“I don’t know what everybody else will say about that, but I just think the lads are gelling and different lads do different things.

“It could be that somebody makes a run in behind and somebody plays it short, and it is all about working out different players.

“It is difficult for us on the pitch, and it is frustrating for us as well, and obviously if I was a fan I’d be frustrated as it might not look good at times.

“But we are just trying to get consistency, and we are searching for it.”