Justin Edinburgh does not want his Cobblers team stumbling over the finishing line as they wrap up their Sky Bet League One season - he wants them finishing with a flourish.
The Cobblers boss has been frustrated by his team’s current untimely six-match run without a win that has ensured they go to Bury for the penultimate game of the season on Saturday, still not having guaranteed their safety.
We want to finish the season on a high, but we have had a lot of difficult games against a lot of teams that are going well at the other end of the table, so it is not always easy to go and get a resultCobblers boss Justin Edinburgh
Three defeats and three draws since the crucial 2-1 win over Port Vale on March 14 has seen the Cobblers more or less maintain the gap between themselves and the relegation zone, but not expand it.
With two games of the season remaining, Town go to Gigg Lane on Saturday six points above fourth-from-bottom Vale (who have a game in hand) and five better off than their 20th-placed hosts.
The Cobblers know a win or a draw against the Shakers will finally guarantee their safety, and Edinburgh wants to ensure his team seals their security with a little bit of style, rather than relying on results elsewhere.
Asked about the run of six matches without a win, Edinburgh said: “That is not a good stat, and I certainly wouldn’t want to go between now and the end of the season and not record a win, I don’t think that would be good.”
Part of the reason for the poor run has been the fact Town have played - and lost to -three of the top six in Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United and Millwall, but Edinburgh knows the team’s record against the division’s stronger teams is something that needs improving
“We want to finish the season on a high, but we have had a lot of difficult games against a lot of teams that are going well at the other end of the table, so it is not always easy to go and get a result,” said the Cobblers boss.
“I believe and feel we should have had a better return than we have, but that is probably the things we have to change in the summer and is the reason we are where we are.
“Against the top teams we haven’t took enough points, and that is something that needs addressing for next season.”
Asked is he is disappointed the team still hasn’t guaranteed their league one future, Edinburgh pointed to the competitiveness of the league as the reason why.
“I think that shows how competitive this division is, how open it has been all season, apart from Sheffield United who have been the one and only standout team,” said the Town manager.
“You look at Bolton, and four or five weeks ago they probably thought they had the second place sealed for automatic promotion, but clearly that’s not the case.
“I just think that is down to the competitiveness of the league, and that everybody on their day is capable of putting in a performance.
“Everybody is trying to take it down to the last game, but we have to concentrate on ourselves.
“We have had some tough games of late, and we have another one coming up on Saturday.”
And he added: “I am fully aware of what Bury have.
“They are an experienced side, a strong outfit, and they obviously have James Vaughan who has just been named in the league one team of the year.
“So they have goals in their team, they have experience, and it is all geared up for a very good game.”