Cobblers take to the cage ahead of Burton clash

The Cobblers let off some steam this week with a session of mixed martial arts as the snowy weather continued to hinder preparations for Saturday’s visit of Burton Albion to Sixfields.

The Town squad, among whom there were half-time confrontations in the 3-0 loss at Chesterfield last weekend, were put through their paces in the cage.

The sport, which involves competitors using a variety of fighting techniques, has grown in popularity in the past 10 years thanks to organisations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and has a cult following in the United Kingdom.

It is also a sport for which the training methods are seen as one of the hardest of any sport, and manager Aidy Boothroyd was pleasantly surprised with the conditioning effect the session had on his squad.

“We went into the MMA place by the cinema and that was a new experience for us,” he said. “It’s just something different, it keeps everyone alert and teaches them something new.

“It also keeps them very very fit because it is excellent exercise so it was worth doing and I’m very grateful to the team down there.

“There is a lot to be said for doing these things to let off steam and I almost wish I had done it. But it was good, it was really worthwhile and it was actually better than I thought it would be in all honesty.”

The first team have been unable to train at Sixfields or at their second home at the Saints due to the snow but the manager wants to get the side on a full-sized pitch towards the end of the week, when sessions are usually dedicated to shadowplay and set-pieces.

“It’s been difficult to get outside because of the weather but the group worked very hard on Tuesday,” said the Cobblers boss.

“We’ve got three games coming up in quick succession we do need to make sure we get on some grass on Thursday and Friday so we can do a few things for the Burton game.”