Cobblers chairman Thomas says there will be ‘no panic’ or ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to slump in form

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
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Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas says there will be no ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to the team’s recent run of poor results, stating that he and his fellow directors at the club are ‘not the type to panic’.

After a good start to the season, manager Rob Page has overseen a run of five defeats in the past six Sky Bet League One matches, and also seen his side humiliated at non-League Stourbridge in the FA Cup second round.

Rob Page and this group of players were part of creating that expectation, it wasn’t all about last season, and what we did last season, it was also what we did at the start, and it’s the same group of players, and the same management team

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

Pressure has been growing on the manager, with sections of the club’s support not happy, but Thomas says he will be keeping his cool.

“We’re not the type to knee-jerk, to panic and I know there are some people that would have done that already as fans, but that’s not the way we are,” said Thomas.

“We’ve created an expectation here by doing so well last season and even the start of this season, and we have created an expectation that we’ve not lived up in the last couple of months.

“We have to make sure we get back up to that, and be realistic in terms of that expectation, and realistic in terms that maybe we have overachieved a little bit in certain areas, with Rob and the squad going 11 games unbeaten at the start of the season and having a great run in the League Cup.

“All of a sudden you are losing four out of five, and you are getting beaten in the FA Cup by lower league opposition, and it changes those levels and you just have to try and ride through that.

“You have to understand that Rob and this group of players were part of creating that expectation, it wasn’t all about last season, and what we did last season, it was also what we did at the start, and it’s the same group of players, and the same management team.

“It is easy to say we have got to work hard, but that is what we have to do.”

Thomas admits he is ‘obviously concerned’ with the team’s recent form and run of results, but says he has ‘seen it all before’.

He also warned supporters that, with tough fixtures ahead in the next few weeks - starting at Oxford United on Boxing Day - things aren’t going to get any easier, and that he is determined to work with Page to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window.

“I’m obviously concerned with the results and you can’t get away from that, but I’m possibly not as concerned as some because I’ve seen it all before and you sometimes go through these sort of periods,” said Thomas, who was previously chief executive at Oxford.

“In fairness we have had a tough run of results, and looking at Saturday (against Rochdale) I think we were all disappointed with some of the refereeing decisions, but in reality we were good enough on Saturday to expect a win anyway.

“I think Rob and the players would accept that, and agree with that.

“We have to be better, but we have had a tough set of fixtures and we have a tough set of fixtures coming up so we have to be prepared we are not going to win every game.

“But we have to improve and it is an important time coming into January, and I am a believer January windows are important.

“We made a real impact last January in the transfer window and we have to make a similar impact now.

“These periods are challenging, and you have to ensure you can come out of them the other side.

“I went through it with Chris (Wilder) when we were at Oxford, and I think we went a nine or 10-games spell where we only got a few points.

“You also look back to 2014, and I was actually here at a game as a friend of Chris’s, and you had fans calling for his head.

“He had a run eight or nine games with just one win, and it was a really tough period, so it is not always rosy.”