Cobblers in confident mood ahead of big test at ‘outstanding’ Scunthorpe

Lewin Nyatanga is likely to replace Gaby Zakuani for the trip to Scunthorpe United
Lewin Nyatanga is likely to replace Gaby Zakuani for the trip to Scunthorpe United

Cobblers boss Rob Page says his team are preparing to face an ‘outstanding’ Scunthorpe United team at Glanford Park on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The Iron are flying high at the top of Sky Bet League One having lost just once so far this season, and they are in confident mood ahead of hosting the Cobblers this weekend.

They are unbeaten at home, and in Josh Morris they possess the division’s in-form player, with the midfielder having scored 12 times already this season.

Page knows he and his team are facing a stiff test, but he says they will travel north with the intention of being the first team to take three points away from Glanford Park this term.

“Scunthorpe have been outstanding, and everybody I have spoken to about them says they are a good outfit,” said the Cobblers boss.

“We know we are in for a tough game and we respect them for that, but it is about us and we know that on our day we are a match for anybody. We will go there with that confidence and believe and go all out for a win.”

Scunthorpe are managed by former Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander, and Page says he has changed their style of play since taking over, and in a positive way.

“We have played Scunthorpe a couple of times when I was with my previous club, and they played a different way to how they play now,” said the Town manager.

“But you know that whenever you play a team managed by Graham Alexander it is going to be hard, because they do both sides of the game really well.

“They like to get the ball down and play, and I think their recruitment has been excellent. he has brought in some fantastic players, and they do the not so pretty side of it well too and work really hard for each other.

“We have good experiences against them in the past, and bad, but we know what we are up against on Saturday.

“What we have to do is recreate the levels that we have done in the past against the better teams in the division, and if we do that we stand a good chance of getting a positive result.”

The trip to Scunthorpe is the next instalment of a tough run of games for the Cobblers, who were beaten at home by in-form Bristol Rovers last weekend.

Next Saturday Millwall come to Northampton before the derby date at Peterborough United three days later, and Page says he and his players are relishing the challenge.

“It is a tough month, but that is what we are in the game and it’s why the lads want to be involved at this level,” he said.

“So bring it on, we are looking forward to it.”

The Cobblers will definitely be without Gaby Zakuani for the trip to Scunthorpe as he is on international duty, and his place at the heart of the Town defence is likely to go to Lewin Nyatanga.

Midfielder Harry Beautyman is facing a fitness fight after picking up a knee injury in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy loss at Coventry City, but everybody else is fit.