Cobblers keen to see off Northwich as they chase FA Cup ‘payday’

Northwich Victoria boss Jim Gannon
Northwich Victoria boss Jim Gannon

Alan Knill believes Saturday’s FA Cup second round clash at Sixfields is just as big a game for the Cobblers as it is for non-League minnows Northwich Victoria.

Much of the focus will be on Northwich on Saturday.

They are the lowest-ranked club left in the competition, and neutrals up and down the country will be willing them to complete a ‘giant-killing’ over Chris Wilder’s high-flying team.

The Cheshire club will talk of getting through to the third round and a big ‘payday’ against one of English football’s big guns, but Knill says that is exactly what the Cobblers need too.

The off-field situation at Sixfields may have settled at long last with last week’s takeover by Kelvin Thomas and his consortium, but money is still tight at Northampton as it is for any league two club.

And Knill would love to see off Northwich and then bag that sought-after ‘payday’ in round three, as that is something that can transform a season.

“You want to progress as far as you can, because you know there is a big payday somewhere,” said Knill.

“That for us, even though we have been taken over and everything is steady at the moment, the influx of a big payday makes everything a whole lot easier.

“If we want to recruit in January, or to build the stand and everything else, it helps.

“Obviously, the chances of winning the competition are pretty slight, but the further you go in the competition the more money you bring in.

“That then helps throughout the season, especially if we are in the position we are in now in January.”

Northwich will come to Northampton in very confident mood as they are enjoying a fantastic season.

They are top of the Evo-Stik Northern League First Division North, and in all competitions have won 25 of their 31 games.

Managed by former Stockport County, Peterborough United, Port Vale and Motherwell boss Jim Gannon, Knill says they will be a tough nut to crack.

Both Knill and Wilder have travelled to watch Northwich play, and both have been very impressed with what they have seen.

And Knill says the fact Gannon is their manager means they will be hard to break down - and try to play a bit too.

“When Jim was at Stockport they were probably one of the better footballing teams in the lower divisions,” said Knill.

“They tried to play through midfield, but they would turn teams around too. They had a bit of everything.

“Out of possession, Northwich are well organised and will be difficult to break down.

“They have a little bit of pace that you always have to be wary of when you have the ball, because that is when they will be dangerous when you give it away.

“They are going to be full of confidence. I went to watch them and they were really good, and you can tell they are on a great run.

“We are preparing for them to be at their best, so we know we have to be at our best.”