Gills boss Allen ready and waiting for ‘form team’ Cobblers

CONSOLATION - Ben Tozer and Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrate the striker's goal in the 2-1 defeat to Gillingham in October
CONSOLATION - Ben Tozer and Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrate the striker's goal in the 2-1 defeat to Gillingham in October

Gillingham boss Martin Allen says he will be making changes to his starting line-up ahead of tonight’s clash against a Cobblers side he descibes as ‘the form team in this division’.

The Gills are second in the table and in a great position to win promotion, but they have failed to win any of their previous five home games.

Indeed, Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Priestfield Stadium with York City - only secured with a last-minute equaliser - is only the second point Allen’s men have collected out of the past 15 available to them at home.

It could be a good time for the Cobblers to travel to Kent as they are on a run of five wins in six matches, the trip to the south east having been postponed from Boxing Day when it was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Allen is certainly wary of the threat Town possess, and said: “Northampton are the form team in this division. We are up against a good team.

“They are well organised and have some good players.

“We will make changes and will be full on, ready and play our way.

“On and off the field, everyone will be at it and ready for what could be an exciting game.”

But although Allen feels the Cobblers are on a good run, he insists his sole focus is getting his Gillingham team playing the way they were earlier in the season when they opened up a healthy lead at the top of the table.

They have since been pegged back by current leaders Port Vale, but the Kent side are still seven points better off than the Cobblers, having played a game less, and Allen wants his team to regain their sparkle.

“I watched Northampton against Aldershot (last week) and they played well,” said Allen.

“But everyone who saw us on Saturday will recognise that my focus and concentration has to be on the Gillingham players and improving our performance, especially when we play here, in front of our supporters.

“We cleared this pitch of snow and the performance (on Saturday) was below the standards we set earlier in the season.

“The fans and the players were expecting it and we all want it as much as everyone else.

“It’s about time we put something on here for our fans, who pay and to send them home happy.”

Allen is set to change his forward line for the visit of the Cobblers, with new signing Cody McDonald, who joined last week and scored on his debut after coming on as a substitute on Saturday, is likely to start alongside Deon Burton.

Gillingham were comfortable 2-1 winners when the sides met at Sixfields on October 2 last year, with goals coming from Deon Burton and Jack Payne.

Adebayo Akinfenwa scored a late consolation for a Cobblers side that turned in a poor performance.