Crooks says Cobblers squad staying positive despite losing start to the season

Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks
Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks

Midfielder Matt Crooks insists the mood inside the Sixfields camp is still a positive one, despite a miserable start to the season.

Four matches, four defeats, one goal scored and seven conceded.

We know it is still early in the season and we are still gelling as a team, so you can’t dwell on things for too long

Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks

It doesn’t make for pleasant reading for anybody of a Cobblers persuasion, but Crooks has assured the club’s supporters that everything possible is being done to turn things around.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s derby showdown with Peterborough United at Sixfields, summer signing Crooks said: “The mood is obviously not 100 per cent, but I think you have to remain positive.

“We know it is still early in the season and we are still gelling as a team, so you can’t dwell on things for too long.”

Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Charlton hit everybody at Sixfields hard, and Crooks admits that he and his team-mates have to look at themselves, and do better.

“You have to look at things, and I know I look at my clips and what I can do better, and I think as a team we have to do that,” said the 23-year-old, who was signed from Rangers in July.

“We have to take what we can from the games we have played so far, but then we have to look ahead and look at the games coming up.”

Asked to pinpoint what he has been disappointed with in his own performances, an honest Crooks said: “I think I have been too sloppy in possession, especially on Saturday.

“There were times when I gave the ball away when it was pointless really, just needless play.

“I have looked at that, and I know I need to work on that in my game, but it was a one-off game and I will try and put that right on Saturday.

“We have to just try and get three points from somewhere now, it doesn’t have to be playing like Barcelona.

“As long as we get the three points that is the key thing.”

A major topic of conversation among supporters has been the team’s use of the 3-4-1-2/3-5-2 system in all the matches to date, and it is a question that manager Justin Edinburgh has found himself fending off on a regular basis.

And Crooks is making no excuses on that front either.

“The formation is new to some of the players,” said the former Accrington Stanley man, who has started all four games in a central midfield two.

“Not all of us have played it before, but whatever formation the gaffer puts us out in, we have to work as a team, and work to our potential to try and get results.”

Crooks could well find himself with his third central midfield partner in just five games this weekend, with Matt Grimes a possible starter in the middle of the park following his loan switch from Premier League Swansea City.

Grimes made a substitute appearance at The Valley and then started in a reserve team friendly against Chesterfield on Monday, and he has clearly impressed Edinburgh, as well as Crooks.

“The better quality you bring in, that is only better for the team,” said the Leeds-born midfielder, who has already partnered Matt Taylor - who has now left the club and signed for Swindon - and Yaser Kasim.

“We have brought Matt Grimes in because he is a good player, and I have played against him before.

“I know a few of the lads at Swansea and they speak highly of him, so it is good to bring that type of player in.”