Austin challenges squad players to do more to earn their Cobblers first team chance

Cobblers boss Dean Austin and assistant Andy ToddCobblers boss Dean Austin and assistant Andy Todd
Cobblers boss Dean Austin and assistant Andy Todd
Dean Austin says the players not currently in his Cobblers first team have got to work harder and be better in training to earn a chance.

Town have won just one game all season and sit in the lower reaches of the Sky Bet League Two table, and Austin has made no secret of the fact he will shake things up to find ‘a winning formula’.

He made four changes to the team to face Notts County last week, bringing back Leon Barnett, Hakeem Odoffin, John-Joe O’Toole and Dean Bowditch, as he felt those players deserved to play.

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But he has made it clear he won’t simply make more changes for the sake of it, and that if those currently not getting look in don’t impress him, then they will remain on the sidelines.

The likes of Billy Waters, Jordan Turnbull and goalkeeper Lewis Ward have yet to make a league start this season, while others such as Barnett, Bowditch, Jack Bridge, Andy Williams and Odoffin have found their minutes limited.

Others, including Shaun McWilliams and Junior Morias, have missed much of the season through injury.

Five players – David Cornell, Ash Taylor, David Buchanan, Matt Crooks and Sam Hoskins – have started every league game, while Kevin van Veen missed only the opening day, and despite the team’s poor form, Austin won’t be in a hurry to jettison those players unless somebody puts their hand up and forces their way in.

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“I have to find a formula to win games of football, and at the moment I haven’t got that formula,” said the Cobblers boss.

“So I think I am well entitled to make the changes I need to make, but I am not going to make them for the sake of making them.

“The players know what I am like, and the opportunity is there, but you have to go and earn it.

“If you are not in the team, then you haven’t done enough, and I am sorry, but they are the facts.

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People always have players they want to see in the team, and this, that and the other, but quite frankly, if they are not in the team then they are not in the team for a reason.

“If they can’t get in the team when we are losing, then it’s because I don’t feel people have done enough, it’s pure and simple.

“It’s not about a Saturday, they have to be on the button every day, Monday to Friday, showing the same passion and desire that I do.

“If they have that, and we are not winning, then they will get chances. If they’re not, then that tells its own story.”