Wilder praises Cobblers players, staff and ‘fantastic’ supporters
Chris Wilder has praised the Cobblers’ players and all the staff at the club for the professional way they are all dealing with the off-field uncertainty surrounding Sixfields.
A proposed takeover of Northampton Town has been in the offing since June, but has yet to be finalised, while the Borough Council last week gave the the club a 21-day deadline to pay back more than £10m owed to them from a loan given to redevelop an east stand that is not even half-built.
There are obvious concerns among the club’s support as to how everything is going to end, and Wilder admits he and his players ‘don’t live in a bunker’, and are well aware of the worrying issues.
But, as yet, they haven’t allowed any concerns they may have to affect their performances on the pitch.
The Cobblers are on a four-match unbeaten run, have lost only once in the league since August 22, and go to Sky Bet League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow sitting 10th in the table, just one point off the play-offs and only four adrift of the top three.
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“The players don’t live in a bunker, and we can’t get away from that,” said Wilder
“I am not a big fan of social media, but I have to do my research on bits and pieces, and things get said and you have to keep you eye on it.
“So credit to the players, when we have had injuries for sticking their hands up, and credit to the staff off the pitch as well.
“They all get their head down and work hard, and I think that’s the affiliation to the club that they have.
“There are some good people that work at this club, and we work for a set of supporters that in my time here have been nothing but supportive.
“But we all see and hear what is going on, and we know there is obviously uncertainty around the place which you can’t get away from, but we will get our heads down and do our jobs to the best of our ability.
“When it comes to training, those things don’t affect us, and when it comes to match day we have to give the maximum for this football club, and I have to say everybody is doing that, on and off the pitch.”
Wilder also had words of praise for the club’s fans.
“The supporters at this club are fantastic,” said the manager.
“The support me and Knilly got on Tuesday (at Wimbledon) with a little bit of speculation that’s going on, and what’s happening off the pitch, they have been absolutely first class.
“I really appreciate that, because the support we have in what is a bit of a difficult time for the football club, is brilliant.
“You read and see things that are going off, and it is a difficult spell, but those supporters whether it’s at Morecambe, at Wimbledon on Tuesday night, at home to Oxford, or even pre-season, they have backed myself and the players 100 per cent.
“Yeah, there are moans and groans sometimes when there is a misplaced pass, or we don’t start a game off like we didn’t do against Dagenham and goals go in against us.
“But I look at that game on Tuesday night, and they were right behind the team.
“Ryan Cresswell’s been injured but comes over and they’re singing his name, they’re singing John-Joe O’Toole’s name, they are good supporters and they want us to do well.”
Wilder is hoping a lot of Cobblers supporters will make the trip to Wycombe on Saturday, as it would be a huge boost for the players.
“When I was at Oxford, and since I’ve been at Northampton, I’ve always thought Adams Park is a good ground to visit as an away support,” he said.
“Hopefully when we come out of that changing room, and out of that tunnel on Saturday, the stand towards the left will be absolutely packed, because if it is it will give the players another boost to go and try and get a result and stay near the top of the league.”