Cobblers goalkeeper Duke: We go to Oxford with a positive attitude

STILL STRIVING - Cobblers goalkeeper Matt Duke
STILL STRIVING - Cobblers goalkeeper Matt Duke

The fat lady is certainly warming up in the wings, but the fact that she isn’t yet belting out a tune means that the Cobblers still have set their sights on the Sky Bet League Two promotion play-offs.

That is the opinion of Town goalkeeper Matt Duke as the team prepare for tonight’s trip to Oxford United.

The general consensus in the Cobblers camp following Saturday’s defeat at Stevenage was that the promotion dream is over.

The 2-1 defeat left Town in 11th place, seven points off the top seven with just four games of the season remaining, and although Duke is also of the opinion that the Cobblers have probably missed their chance - he says there is still the tiniest glimmer of hope.

And the goalkeeper has promised the Cobblers fans making the sort trip across the county border tonight that he and his team-mates will be striving to bag all three points and see where that takes them.

“Even if the season is dead and buried, you still have to go there with a positive attitude,” said Duke.

“While it is mathematically possible to get into the play-offs, then we still have to go for it, because you never know what will happen on Tuesday night with the results. We will just keep going.”

It will be a weakened Cobblers team that travels to the Kassam Stadium, with Ryan Cresswell and Jason Taylor suspended, and doubts over the fitness of Ricky Holmes and also top-scorer Marc Richards, who is back running and joining in training after recovering from an Achilles operation, but surely won’t be risked.

It’s not an ideal scenario for Town, but it could mean opportunities for the likes of central defender Ross Perry and midfieler Lewis Hornby, who are chomping at the bit to get off the bench they have been sitting on for the past few weeks and perform.

And Duke is confident there is the strength in depth in the Town squad to cope with theur current losses.

“We had a lot worse situation with injuries and suspension earlier in the season, and this is why we have got a strong squad,” said the former Bradford City man.

“We have people on the bench that are more than capable of coming in and doing a job.”

Kick-off at the Kassam Stadium is at 7.45pm.