O’Donnell says Cobblers have to give the Sixfields fans ‘something to shout about’

Cobblers goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell
Cobblers goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell

Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell admits it is down to the Cobblers players to ‘give the fans something to shout about’ as they return to Sixfields to take on promotion-chasing Rotherham United this weekend.

Town haven’t played at home since the 0-0 draw with Oxford United on February 24, when there was dissent from the stands as the Cobblers made it three homes games without a win.

We need to put up a positive start for them to get on our side, and that is something we look to do every game, but for whatever reason at home it hasn’t worked out that way

Cobblers goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell

The draw with the Us followed on from home defeats to Rochdale and Gillingham, their eighth and ninth losses at home in Sky Bet League One this season.

Town boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was unhappy with the reaction of sections of the home supporters, but as the team returns to play on home soil O’Donnell admits it is down to him and the rest of the players to put on a show for their fans.

Asked about the recent poor home form, the 29-year-old said: “What I would say is we need to give the fans something to shout about.

“We need to put up a positive start for them to get on our side, and that is something we look to do every game, but for whatever reason at home it hasn’t worked out that way.

“I thought against Oxford we started really well and they backed us, and on any other day we would go on and win that game.

“So if we can play like we did against Oxford at home, then I think we will win more games than we don’t.

“It is just a case of putting in those type of performances, and then the results will take care of themselves.”

Town have 10 matches left to play this season, with five at home and five away.

Three of their next four matches are at home, with Saturday’s clash with Rotherham followed by Tuesday’s rearranged date with third-placed Shrewsbury Town before Charlton come to town on Good Friday - with a trip to Fleetwood next Saturday sandwiched inbetween.

It goes without saying that it is a crucial run of home matches for Town, who will be on the road for four of their six final games of the campaign, and O’Donnell accepts the home form has to be rectified, starting this weekend.

“The home form is massive,” said the former Rotherham shot-stopper.

“Normally in these situations you would say pick up your home points, and then anything you can get away from home is a bonus.

“But because our away form has been so good, if we can just get that home form right then obviously we would be away and doing really well and be a lot higher in the league than we are at the minute.

“All our focus now is on the home form and we have two especially tough games this week and is going to be a big ask, but we know that in our day we can beat anyone.”

Despite their home troubles, the Cobblers have kept themselves above the bottom four thanks to their away form, with the team unbeaten on the road in 2018.

And O’Donnell admits it is crucial th team keeps picking up enough points to keep their heads above the relegation waters.

“If we were in this position after the last game on May 5, then we would be delighted,” said the 29-year-old.

“That is the aim and is what we are trying to achieve, and we believe we can go a bit further than that and in the dressing room we are confident in that.

“But the be all and end all is just staying in this division.”