Cobblers to adopt new system for upcoming campaign, reveals Edinburgh

Justin Edinburgh
Justin Edinburgh
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Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh has revealed the preferred choice of system he intends to go with for the forthcoming Sky Bet League One campaign.

Given the huge turnover in players over the summer, with 11 and counting having joined the club amid several departures, Edinburgh has built, on paper at least, a versatile squad capable of playing a variety of systems and formations - and perhaps the one which appeals most is 3-5-2.

Summer signing George Smith will battle David Buchanan for the left wing-back spot

Summer signing George Smith will battle David Buchanan for the left wing-back spot

Playing three at the back should, in theory, suit the players Edinburgh has at his disposal, especially the four full-backs who are all naturally attack-minded and like to regularly motor forward where they an provide an extra outlet in attack.

Any combination of Leon Barnett, Ash Taylor, Regan Poole and Aaron Pierre will make up the three central defenders while the versatility of Matt Crooks, who could play in defence or midfield, gives Edinburgh another option at the back should he wish to use him there.

That leaves the likes of Sam Foley, John-Joe O'Toole, Yaser Kasim and Matt Taylor, plus Crooks, to battle it out for midfield places behind a player in the number 10 role, which will most likely be occupied by Dean Bowditch, in addition two out-and-out forwards.

It was first trailed in Saturday's Maunsell Cup final against Kettering Town at Wellingborough's Dog & Duck Stadium, with varied results. There were glimpses of promise and potential fluency at times although, understandably, that was mixed with disjointed, ragged spells as the Cobblers eventually went down to defeat on penalties.

But despite some teething troubles, it seems Edinburgh's mind is made up and he plans to go with 3-5-2 on a permanent basis.

"On Saturday we went with three at the back and that's the way we're going to play," he explained. "I thought we moved the ball really well and we used that system very brightly first-half.

"I think with the players we have it suits us well and in the first-half on Saturday we worked with it well.

"The second-half, if you take the system out of the equation, it was a case of being unable to pass the ball. But it's something we'll look to push on with now.

"We need to work our way to a level where we go into the season confident and fluid. We've got a few more weeks to continue the hard work.

"There's a lot of new bodies who have come in and some still to come in so we're in a rush to try and bed them in but as a group now we know how we're going to play and the system we're going to play, so now it's down to personnel to make their claim for each position."

Meanwhile, the biggest worry to come out of Saturday's game was a seemingly serious injury sustained by Foley, who stayed down for a lengthy period of time having hurt his ankle late on.

"Obviously it was a big disappointment that it looks like we've picked up a big injury for Sam Foley which makes the afternoon even more frustrating," added Edinburgh.

"His ankle went under him and the bruising was coming out afterwards.

"It's too early to say but we always try to be optimistic and hopefully it's not too bad, but at the minute it's not looking too great."