Hackett wants to reward ‘brilliant’ Northampton Town supporters

CLASS ACT - Chris Hackett gets another cross in during Thursday night's win over Cheltenham at Sixfields (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
CLASS ACT - Chris Hackett gets another cross in during Thursday night's win over Cheltenham at Sixfields (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Flying winger Chris Hackett is desperate to reward the loyal Cobblers supporters with a play-off semi-final victory at Cheltenham on Sunday night.

Former Oxford United and Millwall man Hackett hailed the club’s ‘brilliant’ support for their backing in the 1-0 first-leg victory over the Robins on Thursday.

Around, 1,600 Cobblers fans will now make the trip to Gloucestershire in the hope of seeing their team set up a Wembley final against either Bradford City or Burton Albion, and Hackett has pledged the players will do everything in their power to make sure that is the case.

“We have sold out our allocation for the game and we need the fans’ backing,” said Hackett, who was man-of-the-match in the first-leg, setting up the only goal of the game for Roy O’Donovan.

“They were brilliant on Thursday, the atmosphere was great and that drove us on, and if they can do the same on Sunday that will be great for us.

“Cheltenham is a small, compact ground and when we played them there at Easter the fans really got behind us.

“We would love them to do that again for us.

“The fans have been there for us home and away all season, and we really want to put on a performance for them.”

Thursday night’s first leg was a nervy and tense encounter, with the Cobblers just about deserving their victory.

And Hackett is warning it could be a tight affair on Sunday as well.

“It was a good performance, but we only have a 1-0 lead and Cheltenham are a good team,” he said.

“They are tough, they are solid and are hard to break down, so we realise it is only half the job done. We have to go again on Sunday.

“That is going to be a hard game, but if we play like we did on Thursday then we have got a chance.”

And he added: “They have one of the best defensive records in the league, and that is how they play.

“They defend well and then hit you on the break as they have some quick players going forward.

“We were pleased with our performance in the first leg, we have one goal, but we have to match that again on Sunday.

“It’s no point expecting Cheltenham to roll over then forget it, that is not what they are all about.

“If you look at their results, they rarely concede more than one or two goals.

“We knew these two games were going to be tight, but we have got the goal.”

That said, Hackett has promised the travelling fans that the Cobblers won’t be just sticking and trying to hang on to what they have.

“We aren’t going to go to Cheltenham to hang on,” said Hackett.

“We are going to go there, roll our sleeves up and try to win the game and the adrenalin will get us through.

“There will be no tired legs because it is a massive game and we can’t wait for it.