Cobblers boss Edinburgh backing Richards to come back stronger after penalty woe

Marc Richards applauds the Cobblers supporters following the Walsall defeat

Marc Richards applauds the Cobblers supporters following the Walsall defeat

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Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh is in no doubt that skipper Marc Richards will bounce back stronger from his last-gasp penalty agony at Walsall.

The Town captain had the chance to secure a deserved point for his team at the Bescot Stadium on Saturday, but he uncharacterisically smashed his stoppage time penalty over the bar, allowing the Saddlers to claim all three points in a 2-1 win.

Cobblers manager Justin Edinburgh

Cobblers manager Justin Edinburgh

Richards has been a key performer in the Cobblers team for the past three seasons and since Edinburgh took over at the helm, playing the full 90 minutes in all three of the new Town boss’s matches in charge, scoring twice in the defeat at Milton Keynes Dons.

Despite some early season Achilles injury problems, Richards is only one goal behind top-marksman Alex Revell in the goalscoring charts having netted nine times this campaign, and Edinburgh is certain he will be adding to that tally.

“I have no problem that Rico will bounce back from that,” said the Cobblers boss.

“He wouldn’t have took the penalty if he didn’t think he was going to score, and he will brush it off.

“I know he will score, he will be a big player for us and will get us winning goals between now and the end of the season.

“Don’t get me wrong, he was down because it hurt him, it hurt the whole group, because a point was nothing less than we deserved, but he is a strong character mentally, and it will be no problem for him.”

As well as scoring goals himself, Richards - who is set to lead the line against former club Chesterfield on Saturday - is going to have a key role in using his experience to get the best out of the likes of Keshi Anderson, Michael Smith and Luke Williams, and Edinburgh knows he will do just that.

“Rico has been good, he has played all the three games, he has gone right to the end with more to give and I have been really pleased with him,” said the Town manager.

“Those young boys, such as Keshi and Michael can learn from him, no doubt about that.”