In-form O’Toole lauds Edinburgh’s impact and says things are now ‘a lot better’ at Cobblers

BACK OF THE NET: John-Joe O'Toole has eight goals for the season, and three in his last two games. Pictures: Sharon Lucey
BACK OF THE NET: John-Joe O'Toole has eight goals for the season, and three in his last two games. Pictures: Sharon Lucey
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Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O’Toole has hailed the influence of new boss Justin Edinburgh, saying things have been ‘a lot better’ since his arrival at Sixfields last month.

Northampton have notably improved under the guidance of Edinburgh, who took over from the sacked Rob Page last month, both in terms of performances and results.

Having lost five home league games in a row between October and January, successive Sixfields wins over Coventry and Chesterfield have steered the Cobblers six points clear of the bottom four.

“There are a lot of positives to come out of Saturday,” said O’Toole after Northampton’s 3-1 win over the Spireites. “Since the new manager has come in I think it’s been a lot better to be honest.

“When a new manager comes in I think everyone wants to impress straightaway so we’ve all been on our toes.

“Training has been different. It’s been a bit more intense and that’s probably what we needed and it’s paying off.

“Things are looking up and I’m sure if we carry on the way we’re going we’ll be fine.”

O’Toole’s timely return to goalscoring form has been a significant factor behind their improved fortunes, with the midfielder backing up his goal at Walsall with a first-half brace against Chesterfield on Saturday.

Now up to eight for the campaign, O’Toole has eyes on matching or bettering last season’s tally of 12.

“I always start a season aiming to get to double figures but that’s only the first game and once I’ve got to 10 I try to get to 15.

Training has been different. It’s been a bit more intense and that’s probably what we needed and it’s paying off. Things are looking up and I’m sure if we carry on the way we’re going we’ll be fine.

“It’d be nice to beat last year but first I want to get to double figures and then take it from there.

“I was thinking at half-time (on Saturday) that it’d be nice to get a hat-trick because it would have been the first of my career but it wasn’t to be.”

A solid first-half performance made way for a more scrappy second on Saturday, but O’Toole’s double plus a header from Marc Richards saw the Cobblers to victory.

The 28-year-old continued: “I think last week I said things were on the up and Saturday was another step in the right direction.

“We were good first-half but the second-half I think we could have been a lot better and finish the game off better because we were a bit sloppy at times and gave the ball away too much.

“But all in all, it’s three points and that’s the main thing so we just need to move on now and aim for another three points on Tuesday.

“We need to build on it and get another victory and make Sixfields a fortress like it was last season.”