Edinburgh ready for ‘crucial time’ as he sets about restructuring Cobblers squad

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh
Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh
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Asked this week about what had gone wrong during his time as manager of Gillingham, Justin Edinburgh admitted he didn’t get his recruitment right last summer.

And it is a mistake he is determined not to make again as the Cobblers boss.

Edinburgh comes up against his former club for the first time at Sixfields on Sunday (ko midday), and is desperate to get one over on his former employers.

The fact a Cobblers win could see the Gills relegated is not something Edinburgh is going to lose sleep over, as he feels he was harshly treated in being sacked in January with the Kent club 17th in Sky Bet League One, eight points above the relegation zone.

That followed on from a ninth-place finish the previous season, and Edinburgh clearly believes he should have been given more time.

He says he believes he is now ‘in a better place, at a better club’ in the Cobblers, but he accepts he did make some mistakes at the Priestfield Stadium.

And as he prepares to restructure the Cobblers squad this summer, he admits this is ‘a big time’ for him.

“You are only as good as your players, and if I am honest I probably didn’t get my recruitment right in the summer, and that is what you live and die by,” said Edinburgh when asked what had gone wrong at the Gills.

“This is the big time for me now, this is where really the sleepless nights creep in.

“It is not being arrogant, but I was very confident in this group achieving what we wanted to do, I felt we had more than enough to do that, and that has been the case.

“The testing situation now with the players that I let go, is that the ones I bring in have got to be better, and that is on my shoulders.

“This is a really crucial time for me, and one that I look forward to because of late, in the past couple of weeks, I feel we have had an imbalance in the squad and I don’t want to be in that position.

“That leaves me uneasy, and I felt a little bit vulnerable at times because you can’t manipulate or dictate to that group, so it is going to be a busy time, but a good time for me as a manager.

“When we walk back through that door in the summer, it is going to be my squad and I will have that total focus and belief we can achieve far better things that we have done this season.”

With the Cobblers safe from relegation, Edinburgh could use Sunday’s match to give game time to fringe players. but that is unlikely.

“We have been disappointed with our past few performances and want to go out on a high and finish with a win,” said the Town manager, who has this week handed new contracts to john-Joe O’Toole and Marc Richards.

“That would be good for morale, and provide a good spirit going into the summer.

“I am mindful there may be one or two players that perhaps feel they haven’t had a fair chance, but I will be picking a team to win the game at the weekend.”