Cobblers’ rise comes as no surprise to defender Widdowson

SLIDING IN - Joe Widdowson gets stuck into Cheltenham on Easter Monday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
SLIDING IN - Joe Widdowson gets stuck into Cheltenham on Easter Monday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Joe Widdowson says the Cobblers are in line with pre-season expectations and does not feel the team has overachieved this season.

Town are third in the npower League Two table with just five fixtures remaining and are odds-on with the bookmakers to be promoted to the next level.

That situation was unthinkable 12 months ago with the side bottom of the Football League; they eventually staved off the threat of non-league football, finishing 20th in the division and four points clear of the drop.

The rise from that point has been meteoric but has not surprised Widdowson, who bases such an assessment on the calibre of the club’s close-season signings and the team spirit built by manager Aidy Boothroyd.

“I don’t feel we’ve overachieved,” said Widdowson. “When I first signed I said how impressed I was with the group of players and with the manager.

“We developed a good team spirit and a bond between the players very soon and that has helped us a lot of times during the season.

“That’s given us a lot of resilience and that togetherness has got us a lot of results.

“I wasn’t here last season and I don’t know how it was but from the first minute of this season he got a good group of players together and it hasn’t surprised me how well we’ve done.”

Widdowson played in league one for Rochdale last season and is one of several members of the first-team squad to have been at a higher level.

But this is the first time the left-back has been involved in a battle to get out of a division at the correct end.

“Quite a lot of the squad have played at higher levels,” he said. “League one is where we want to be. I’ve been there before but I’ve never been in a team this high up in a league.

“I’ve generally been involved in relegation struggles so this season has been refreshing for me.

“I’m really enjoying it and all of the lads are. We don’t want to get carried away but we want to go up this season.”