Wilder: Cobblers will not relent against Exeter

Chris Wilder (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Chris Wilder (picture: Sharon Lucey)

When Chris Wilder says there will be no days off this season, there is no need for the Cobblers players to panic.

They will still get their down time as normal, giving them time to brush up on their Fifa skills or fit in a cheeky Nando’s here and there.

But what Wilder means is that whenever there is a game scheduled, he will expect them to push themselves, and the opposition, to the limits.

He wants his team to ally their obvious silk with steel in the bid to win promotion from Sky Bet League Two.

And that means not letting teams they face rest.

“There’s no days off if you want to achieve,” said Wilder, who saw his side scrap to a 1-0 opening-day win at Bristol Rovers last weekend.

“I don’t want to see any backward steps.

“There’s some things we could’ve done better on Saturday but I think everybody appreciates that on day one everything goes up in the air after six weeks of pre-season.

“Everyone’s looking forward to that first game and everyone’s desperate to get that win, which we did.

“We know we need to show a little more composure.

“If someone’s going to get a result at this place (Sixfields), they’ll have had to run over the top of us and do something a little bit special.

“They won’t walk away easily with a win.”

That was proven on Tuesday night as Cobblers bamboozled Blackpool in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

Wilder’s men ran riot against their Sky Bet League One opponents, with first-half goals from Chris Hackett, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sam Hoskins securing a superb 3-0 win and a place in the second round.

But on Saturday they come up against an Exeter City side who have also got off to a flyer, beating Yeovil 3-2 at home last weekend before stunning Swindon Town with a 2-1 away win in the Capital One Cup three days later.

“We’ve got a fit, healthy squad that is raring to go and I’ve now got to pick a team to go and get a win on Saturday,” Wilder said.

“League two is a strong competition. Exeter are a good side and they had an excellent win at Swindon on Tuesday so they’ve won their first two and it should be a cracking match.

“They like to play the right way so they won’t sit back - they’ll come here and look for a win.

“We have to show the same hard work, the same commitment, the endeavour and enthusiasm because that’s the platform for us to go and do what we have, but as soon as we drop below it, we’re not going to do anything.

“But if we can keep the standards up then hopefully we can kick-on from a positive first two games.”

Wilder made five changes to his team for Tuesday night’s game.

And his decisions paid dividends as Hackett, Calvert-Lewin and Hoskins all netted in their first starts of the season, goalkeeper Ryan Clarke claimed a clean sheet and Lawson D’Ath looked lively throughout.

“We changed the team around which is something we talked about at the start of the season because it’s a group effort,” Wilder said.

“We had some good players who weren’t involved but the lads who stepped in for certainly did themselves no harm and it was an outstanding night for us.”