Determined Wilder wants to make Cobblers fans proud amid testing times

Northampton took over 1,200 fans to Cambridge on Saturday. Pictures by Sharon Lucey
Northampton took over 1,200 fans to Cambridge on Saturday. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has urged Northampton supporters to “stick with it” after admitting he was bitterly disappointed not to send the strong contingent of travelling fans home with a positive result against Cambridge United on Saturday.

Over 1,200 away fans were in attendance at the Abbey Stadium to witness their side end a troubling week with a 2-1 defeat as goals from Harrison Dunk and Barry Corr were enough for the U’s to run out winners despite Marc Richards’ penalty.

Speaking afterwards, Wilder spoke of his determination to build a team that Cobblers fans can be proud of amid the ongoing turmoil off the pitch.

He said: “Of course we all want the situation sorted out but it’s vital that we don’t take a step back and relax because I want us to play with commitment and play for the shirt and I want the supporters to be proud of what we’re trying to do on the pitch.

“Pressure is always on players and managers no matter what the situation is and we have to thrive on that and when we do go to places like Cambridge we have to get something out of the game if we’re going to be successful.

“The fans recognise what we’re trying to do but we’re bitterly disappointed that we’ve not sent them back down the road with a result of some kind because the crowd we took on Saturday and the support we’re all getting has been absolutely first class.

“It’s their football club and we’re trying to give them value for money and build a team that they can be proud of and hopefully they can see signs that we’re going in the right direction.”

Concentrating on football matters, Wilder hopes his side can learn from their defeat to Cambridge as he targets another unbeaten run, starting with Tuesday’s home clash with Carlisle United.

“We’ve got two home games now and we need to bounce back which we have done quite regularly in my time here,” he added.

“We’ll get ourselves going. They’re a determined bunch of players who will hopefully go out and get a result on Tuesday night and go back on another good run.

“I want us to play with commitment and play for the shirt and I want the supporters to be proud of what we’re trying to do on the pitch.”

Chris Wilder

“We’ve worked extremely hard to get results in those six games and I didn’t want it to end on Saturday.

“In pressure points of games, we have to play with discipline and control and we didn’t on Saturday with the sending off and the way we played and ultimately I think that cost us the game.

“(Adam) Smith is a terrific goalkeeper and he’s been top drawer for us but he’s making too many saves so we have to tighten up defensively.

“It was a pretty even first half and maybe we were one run, one pass off getting a goal.

“I thought we controlled the ball but football is decided in the final third with the ball and the defensive third without the ball and Cambridge were better than us in both thirds and that’s what has got them the result.

“There were a lot of disappointed people in the changing room afterwards because they worked extremely hard to go on that unbeaten run, whether that’s been away or at home, and the commitment the players and the supporters are giving me is absolutely first class and that’s a good combination.

“But we have to learn from days like this because we always want to be backed with a strong support away from home but we have to make sure we deal with it a lot better than we dealt with it in that 15-20 minute period after we scored.

“And if we do that, we’ll improve and be better for it, but I’ve got nothing but praise for the supporters and the way they’ve been and if they continue, it gives the players and the club as a whole a big boost.”