Cobblers boss Dean Austin is ‘not interested’ in Cheltenham Town or their current struggles, stating ‘it’s all about us’ as the two sides prepare to square up a Sky Bet League Two basement battle on Saturday.
It’s 18th versus 21st at the PTS Academy Stadium, with both sides having managed to win just once so far.
But the game is all about us. I always say to the boys we have to respect the opponents, but as a team they stand in the way of something that we want, and that is three pointsCobblers boss Dean Austin
But whereas there has in general been plenty of positivity about the way the Cobblers have been playing, and with what manager Austin is trying to achieve, it has been pretty much all doom and gloom at Whaddon Road.
Manager Gary Johnson was sacked after just four matches of the season, and although caretaker Russell Milton won his first game in charge, 1-0 at Cambridge United, his team has lost the next three.
The latest defeat was a particularly painful one as the Robins were dismantled 4-0 at their close rivals Forest Green Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.
A shell-shocked Milton said in the aftermath of that game that his team will fight back ‘like a wounded animal’ when they take on the Cobblers this weekend, but Austin admits he isn’t too concerned what Cheltenham do.
“The opposition is always a danger, and you have to respect every opponent, but I am not interested in them, I am only interested in us,” said the Town boss, when asked about the threat the Robins possess.
“I am not interested in what happened to them on Tuesday night, although I have watched a bit of the game back, and I have watched the games before as well.
“We look at the weaknesses of the opposition, and we look at how we want to exploit them, and I am sure they will be doing exactly the same with us.
“But the game is all about us. I always say to the boys we have to respect the opponents, but as a team they stand in the way of something that we want, and that is three points.”
The Cobblers are still searching for that first home win of the season, having lost to Lincoln City and then drawn with Cambridge United and Tranmere Rovers, and this weekend offers up a seemingly ideal opportunity to get at a struggling Cheltenham side and break their duck.
So will Town be focussing on getting off to a flyer this weekend?
“We talk a lot about how we manage the game, and what we do in certain parts of the game, and Saturday will be no different,” said Austin.
“We know what we need to do, and we know there are no easy games at this level.
“We have come out of the league above, but the players are very respectful and know that teams are not going to let us have things all our own way.”
And he added: “For me it’s all about having a positive mindset, because I believe positivity breeds positivity.
“I am not interested in negativity, although there are certain things that you have to take on board, and situations where you have to take it on the chin, but I am only interested in breeding more positivity around this place.
“There has been too much negativity here, but we are the only ones who can change that. We have to change the mindset of how people think about Northampton Town.”