Clarke Carlisle admitted it was easy to making his playing return for the Cobblers against Morecambe on Tuesday night, and described the feeling of being a Northampton player again as ‘fantastic’.
Carlisle played the full 90 minutes as Town won 3-0 with strikes from Adebayo Akinfenwa, Ishmel Demontagnac and a Kevin Ellison own goal, a result that puts them just a point outside the npower League Two play-offs and three behind third-placed Cheltenham.
He also helped the defence keep a clean sheet, their first since the one recorded in the 2-0 win over Port Vale on October 27.
“It was fantastic to be be back and it was great to come back with the boys in such high confidence,” said Carlisle, who is at the club initially on loan until January from York City, for whom he played against the Cobblers a fortnight ago.
“It is very easy to step into a team when they are working so efficiently, are so organised and so confident.
“It was very enjoyable and what a good result.
“It’s a different situation that I’ve turned up at, there’s a different level of performance now and a different level of expectation, not just around the squad but around the club.
“That’s fantastic. You can see the confidence oozing out of the players.
“It’s a much different situation, the lads are stepping up and we need to continue that.
“It was a job well done because it was never going to be an easy game for us.
“They played well but we maintained a good shape and when you defend well and keep a clean sheet you know the players we’ve got will create chances at the other end.
“It’s a very good night’s work all round.”
Although he was not on the scoresheet, Chris Hackett put in another excellent performance playing as the second striker, and his rich seam of form has been noted by Carlisle.
“Someone like Chris Hackett is going to turn out to be a fantastic acquisition by the manager,” he said.
“We couldn’t handle him at York and to see him here in full flow, he’s going to be a magnificent asset for the rest of the season.”