He chose his words carefully, but there’s no doubt Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh will not be doing his relegation-haunted former club Gillingham any favours at Sixfields this weekend.
Following Port Vale’s 1-0 win at Walsall on Tuesday night, the Gills are still in the thick of a relegation battle going into Sunday’s high noon showdown.
Ady Pennock’s side know they have to beat the Cobblers in the final game of the season to guarantee their Sky Bet League One survival, any other scoreline and they will be relying on results from elsewhere.
One place and one point above fourth-from-bottom Vale, the pressure is very much on Gills, who sacked Edinburgh as their manager at the turn of the year.
At the time the Kent side were 17th in the table - one below the Cobblers - and eight points above the drop zone.
They had gone three matches without a win with Edinburgh’s final game in charge a 1-0 home defeat to Oxford United, but they had won five of the eight games prior to that.
I feel all things happen for a reason, and I think where I am sitting now I am in a better place, at a better clubCobblers boss Justin Edinburgh
Less than a fortnight after being sacked by Gills, Edinburgh was back in work as he was hired to replace the sacked Rob Page at the Cobblers.
The 47-year-old admits he is delighted with how things have panned out in the end, saying he is at ‘a better club’ now, but it is clear Edinburgh still feels he was hard done by at the Priestfield Stadium.
So if Gills chairman Paul Scally is hoping for a favour from his former employees, Edinburgh and assistant Dave Kerslake, then he can forget it.
Asked if he would want to play a part in relegating the Gills, Edinburgh said: “I’m not going to say I don’t because I am not going to lie to you.
“I feel all things happen for a reason, and I think where I am sitting now I am in a better place, at a better club.
“Would I take any satisfaction in that? (Gillingham going down). It is a difficult one to answer.
“I am a professional, this is my football club now, this is who I work for, and my players are going up against a former employer, and I want to beat them, 100 per cent.”
Edinburgh spent two years at Gillingham, helping to save them from relegation in his first few months, and then guiding them to ninth in his only full season at the club, before being dismissed halfway through this campaign.
“I look back on my time at Gillingham with great pride,” said the Cobblers boss, who has steered Town to league one security over the past three months.
“I thought the group I had were an honest group, and there is no doubt they will be professional and fully focused on the job on Sunday.
“Myself and Kers are fully aware of what the opposition threats are, and we are quite privileged in that way that we don’t need to do a lot of research.”