Skipper Marc Richards admits manager Rob Page’s sacking has left a ‘dark cloud’ over the Cobblers squad, but that he and rest of the players have ‘to stick together’ and concentrate on lifting themselves for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Scunthorpe United.
Page lost his job as Cobblers boss on Monday morning in the wake of Saturday’s painful 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Bristol Rovers, the team’s ninth defeat in 11 matches in all competitions.
There are players that have played a lot this season, and there are players that have not played at all, but it is now a clean slate for everybodyCobblers skipper Marc Richards
Richards has sympathy for Page, who was in the hot seat at Sixfields for less than eight months after taking over from Chris Wilder, and admitted that when a manager or players leave a club it is never an easy time.
But he also says the Welshman’s departure is part of the ‘harsh reality of football’, and those left behind simply have to get on with things.
“When anybody leaves a club, whether it be a player or staff, it always feels like there is a dark cloud over your head for a few days afterwards,” said Richards.
“Whether it be Joel Byrom, Lawson D’Ath, the manager, it is never nice to see, but it is a harsh reality of football.
“The one thing you can’t do though is dwell on it, we have a game coming up on Saturday and we have to be right for that.
“It means we have to go into training with a clear mind, and a focus on going and winning against a top team in Scunthorpe.”
Richards has been in football for a long time, and will have seen managers come and go at his various clubs.
It is always a time of uncertainty, with players who have been regulars under the old manager wondering if they will still be first choice for the new man coming in, and those that have been out in the cold perhaps dreaming of getting an overdue chance.
Richards insists the squad at Sixfields is a tight-knit one, that spirit has always been good and still is, and that the ‘clean slate’ that every player now has means they every one of them now has the chance to go out and impress.
“It is a difficult time for the squad, but the one thing we have to do is stick together. We can’t let this sort of thing come between us,” said the 34-year-old.
“There are players that have played a lot this season, and there are players that have not played at all, but it is now a clean slate for everybody.
“There will be managers in the stands (at Sixfields) I am sure, if a manager doesn’t get appointed before Saturday, and it is a chance for everybody to go and impress potentially a new manager.”