Skipper Richards ‘just wants things sorted’ at Sixfields
It’s been an arduous few months for all those involved at the club but amid all the turmoil and chaos, the players have churned out a string of impressive results
And while Richards admitted he was keen to see the problems sorted, he insisted that, as long as the players are paid, they will fully focus on footballing matters.
“The lads don’t think about it,” he said after Saturday’s win over Mansfield. “We got paid, the PFA stepped in and helped us out, and that was the only issue for us really - paying bills and looking after your family.
“It’s just unfortunate that the rest of the staff haven’t been paid, but hopefully that’s resolved soon.
“What happens off the pitch doesn’t affect us and it shouldn’t affect us.
“We’re professionals and we go out and work hard for each other like we have done today and try to grind out results for the fans.
“But of course the lads just want things sorted because then we can fully concentrate on things on the pitch.”
Much like his manager, Richards had nothing but praise for Cobblers fans with the off-field problems only bringing the bond between players and supporters closer together - something which was evident after Saturday’s victory.
The skipper added: “The fans stayed behind after the 90 minutes and we recognise that as players. We got together and walked around and applauded them back because they were fantastic today.
“It was almost a sell-out and we knew it was going to be a good atmosphere and the fans got their rewards because we got the win.”
Richards scored the only goal of the game on Saturday as his fourth-minute header from Alfie Potter’s excellent cross was enough for the points as Northampton produced another battling performance to keep a first clean sheet in 12 games.
“Scoring is my job,” added the 33-year-old, whose goal tally now stands at 11 for the season.
“The lads keep putting crosses on a plate like I got against Mansfield and last week at Coventry and it’s my job to put the ball in the net.
“It’s all down to them because they’re providing such good quality.
“We defended really well. Mansfield are no mugs and they’re up at the top of the league for a reason.
“At times we rode our luck but I think we need a bit of luck to do anything in the league this year and the last ditch tackle Rod McDonald has put in at the end just shows the character of the lads to defend and get a clean sheet.
“It makes a nice change because Smudge (Adam Smith) has to pull out a world class save nearly every game this season.”