Cobblers defender Ryan Cresswell believes Northampton’s off-field problems can act as a springboard to “slingshot” the club to promotion this season.
The worrying events away from the pitch have been well documented in the past few months but they have only helped bring everyone closer together and now the club is back on an even keel after Kelvin Thomas’ takeover, Cresswell wants to capitalise on that feel-good factor.
The Cobblers continued their excellent run of form on the pitch at the weekend when beating Yeovil Town 2-0, a result that takes Town up to 40 points for the season, the same tally as top two Plymouth and Oxford.
The mood around Sixfields on Saturday was one of relief after Thomas completed his takeover last Thursday to get the club back on track.
“It’s fantastic,” said Cresswell afterwards. “You could just tell from the atmosphere around the place.
“The conditions were bad but the fans were outstanding and really got behind the lads and that’s what it’s been like the last few months.
“Everyone’s been in it together which stands us in good stead and long may that continue.
“It’s a massive relief and it’s great for the club, the fans, the town, the staff, everyone.
“A weight has been lifted but now we really need to push on and capitalise on what’s happened and I think it can slingshot us into a good position.
“We want to be in the top three come the end of the season but we’ll just concentrate on the next game and we can only look after ourselves and that’s what we’ll do.”
Given the traumatic off-field problems, it would have been understandable had Northampton’s players struggled to produce the goods on the pitch, however it was quite the opposite as they strung together a mightily impressive sequence of results.
And that didn’t come as any surprise to Cresswell, who added: “With the group of the lads that we have in the changing room, it doesn’t surprise me.
“I know the quality that the lads have got and everyone gives everything that they’ve got every day no matter what’s happening off the field and no matter what’s happening in their lives.
“Football is a release for anyone and when we get on that field, everything is forgotten and we just focus on the job.”
That continued to be the case on Saturday when Lawson D’Ath and Marc Richards were on target in a hard-fought 2-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Yeovil.
“I’m not sure I’d say it was comfortable,” continued Cresswell.
“But the conditions were really difficult and they got worse as the game went on.
“I thought the lads coped with it really well and we looked well organised and we were well worthy of the three points which we’re delighted with.
“We had to manage the game. Once we got the goal we just had to really concentrate not letting them get back into it and I think the lads did that superbly.
“We used the conditions to our advantage at times and it really paid off.
“It’s terrific to be in this position. No matter what time of the year it is it’s always good to be up near the top and it’ll stand us in good stead.
“But we won’t get carried away. We’ll go into next week now and focus on the next game this week and will prepare properly.”
The Cobblers face a potential banana skin of an FA Cup tie this weekend when they host the lowest ranked team left in the competition, Northwich Victoria, at Sixfields.
Cresswell added: “You can’t approach it any other way. We need to be professional, organised, disciplined and everything we’ve been the last few weeks.
“They’ve done really well in the cup and the onus is on us to progress into the next round and we’ll give it everything we’ve got.”