James Collins reckons Northampton’s 4-0 win at Leyton Orient ‘puts out a statement’ as the rest of Sky Bet League Two continue to look up at the table-topping Cobblers.
Rejuvenated under new boss Kevin Nolan, Orient had gone into Saturday’s game on the back of impressive wins at Portsmouth and Wycombe but they were comprehensively beaten by Northampton who notched their seventh straight league win to remain five points clear of second-placed Plymouth, and nine clear of third-placed Oxford United, who Town play on Tuesday night.
A late brace from Collins gave the scoreline a more one-sided look but there was no doubt that the Cobblers were full value for their victory having assumed total control once they hit the front through Rod McDonald’s overhead kick.
“It’s a fantastic win,” Collins said afterwards. “To come away from home, score four goals and not concede is a great achievement and all credit goes to the boys.”
Many sides might have dropped off when leading 2-0 but there was no sign of that from the Cobblers who went on the hunt for more goals and duly found them through Collins, who first poked in from close-range before then finishing off a sweeping counter-attack in stoppage time.
The on-loan Shrewsbury striker added: “I think we’ve done that quite a lot since I’ve been here.
“We’ve been a couple of goals up and it’s cost us at times because we’ve wanted to get everyone forward and score more goals and that’s allowed the opposition to get a goal back.
“Fortunately that didn’t happen and we managed to get two more goals.
“To come to a promotion-chasing team with a new manager and a lot of quality and experience in their side, I think it puts out a real statement to come here and win by four goals.”
Although Collins netted twice, his goals were overshadowed by the opening two as McDonald overhead kicked Northampton ahead on 54 minutes before Ricky Holmes doubled the lead with an outrageous volley 10 minutes later.
Collins added: “I think they are the two best goals I’ve seen live on a football pitch and they were both in the same game!
“Both were outstanding goals and both deserve the credit.
On McDonald’s goal in particular, he said: “It just goes to show that all of the back four have quality.
“Zander Diamond was excellent and he’s good on the ball and all of the back four have quality on the ball. They’re not just there to defend, they’re there to supply us as well and I’m buzzing for Rod to get his goal.”
The Cobblers face another promotion rival in the form of Oxford on Tuesday, and Collins says they will be going to the Kassam Stadium to win, adding: “It’s going to be a tough game.
“I know they won well on Saturday as well but we go there full of confidence and go to win the game.
“We won’t go there to draw or avoid defeat, we’ll go there to win the game so it’ll be a good game I think.”