Oldham Athletic boss Richie Wellens admits he has no idea what sort of Cobblers team his side will be facing in Saturday’s final Sky Bet League One clash of the season at Sixfields.
It is a huge day for the Latics, who need a win to ensure their survival in the third tier of English football, while it is something of a dead rubber for Town who know they need a 9-0 win to have a chance of staying up.
A 1,400-strong army of travelling supporters is expected at Sixfields which will ensure there is a big-match atmosphere, but the Oldham boss isn’t sure what opposition he will have to prepare for.
Town caretaker boss Dean Austin has made it clear he is treating the game the same as any other, but Wellens isn’t so sure, and asked about how he thinks the Cobblers will approach the game, he said: “It can go two ways.
“Northampton can relax and play, make changes and look at players for next season, they might have players who have played for the last six or seven weeks but are frustrated with them because they have not performed and been relegated.
“There are so many different scenarios that go through players’ minds and it is difficult.
“There is no coincidence that since Bury have been relegated, they have gone on a really good run.
“It’s always going to be difficult and it’s about us. We need to start quickly and be aggressive in our play and we will do that.”
Wellens is all too aware of what is riding on Saturday’s game for him and his side, but he insists he is relaxed about the situation, and he wants his players to act the same.
“I don’t want my players looking at me and seeing someone who is nervous or uptight because I don’t think it will help them,” said the Oldham boss, who saw his side thrash Town 5-1 at Boundary Park in December.
“As long as I know in my mind that the preparation that we have done is right, we need to make sure we play at full pelt and exploit Northampton’s weaknesses, as long as I do that and we are organised, I can be fine about what I’ve done.
“We need to make sure the players react to the situation and get a positive result to get what we need.
“We know what we’ve got to do. We will take a fantastic support down to Northampton and hopefully we will get the win that we need to play League One football next season.”