Anderson says Cobblers recovery is all down to hard graft

Paul Anderson in action during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Oxford United
Paul Anderson in action during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Oxford United
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There’s been no magic formula behind Justin Edinburgh’s success at Northampton, says midfielder Paul Anderson who has attributed their turnaround in fortunes to simple hard work all over the pitch.

The Cobblers have won six and drawn two of the 13 games Edinburgh has overseen, catapulting them from relegation candidates to mid-table safety.

Having taken 20 points from a possible 39 since being appointed, compared to six from the previous 30 under Rob Page, Justin Edinburgh’s impact on Northampton cannot be doubted

James Heneghan

More than anything that good form has been built on a solid foundation and being more organised in defence, with three of their four clean sheets since September coming during Edinburgh’s short reign.

The latest was recorded on Saturday when Oxford United failed to beat Cobblers keeper Adam Smith as both teams created - and missed - one golden opening amid many half chances in a goalless draw.

“We’ve kept a couple of clean sheets of late and Adam has been fantastic in goal,” said Anderson.

“It comes from the front and all the way back. Rico (Marc Richards) and Smudge (Micheal Smith) up top have been unbelievable and they’ve worked their socks off.

“Any time we put the ball in the channel they chase it, and you look at anyone who’s been asked to play in midfield of late they work their socks off and help the back four.

“As a full team we’ve been much stronger and much harder to beat and to get through.”

Having taken 20 points from a possible 39 since being appointed, compared to six from the previous 30 under Rob Page, Edinburgh’s impact on Northampton cannot be doubted.

And it is in defence where they have improved most, dropping their average goals conceded per game to 1.2 since the 5-3 defeat to Milton Keynes Dons.

On Edinburgh’s impact on the players, Anderson explained: “I think he’s come in and every manager has a different philosophy and a different way of working.

“At the start of the season we were right up there and then we had quite a few disappointing results, but then you get a new manager in and it gives a boost to the whole team again.

“He’s got us all working so hard for each other and he puts that belief in you that going out and working hard will get you results and fortunately we’ve come away with some good results of late.

“We had a few disappointing games but we’ve got ourselves back and you can see every player on the pitch gives absolutely 100 per cent and that’s all you can ask.”

Like his manager, Anderson would like one more victory to make absolutely sure of Northampton’s safety this season.

He added: “Realistically, another win should do it for us which would be nice and I’d back ourselves fully over the next few games to get a couple of wins which would take us away from it.

“It’s always tough but we back ourselves in every single game, whether it’s against top or bottom of the league, and we believe we’ll go and get the three points.

“Hopefully we can ease that pressure and have a nice end of season and everyone can enjoy the last game of the season and have a bit of a party.”