Kerslake brands Oxford clash ‘huge’ and says Cobblers still have work to do

WORK TO BE DONE - Cobblers assistant boss Dave Kerslake
WORK TO BE DONE - Cobblers assistant boss Dave Kerslake

Cobblers assistant boss Dave Kerslake says nobody at Sixfields is taking safety for granted as they enter the final stretch of the season.

With seven matches of the campaign remaining, the Cobblers are a healthy eight points above the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

It is vital we pick up another win and a draw to make ourselves safe. The players are fully aware and filly focused that we need to get there, and I would also like to think that with the gaffer being new in, nobody is going to rest on their laurels

Cobblers assistant manager Dave Kerslake

They currently sit on 49 points and the general consensus is that one more win should see them secure their league one status for next season.

Kerslake feels the team needs a win and a draw to make themselves mathematically safe, and until that happens then nobody will be ‘resting on their laurels’.

The Cobblers entertain Oxford United on Saturday aiming to build on their impressive recent home form that has seen them win five of their past six games at Sixfields, with Coventry City, Chesterfield, Swindon Town, Charlton and Port Vale all beaten.

“This is a huge game for us, as we still need the points on the board until we are mathematically safe,” said Kerslake.

“Every game has to be played like a cup final if you like, so we need to get in a safe position.

“Since we have come in the players have given us everything, so we have been pleased with that.

“But if you can get mathematically safe then you can certainly start planning for next season, but the main objective is to get safe.”

Town were handed a boost on Tuesday when fourth-from-bottom Vale failed to close the eight-point gap on them as they were beaten 2-1 at Coventry.

But Kerslake isn’t taking anything for granted, and said: “I think a few years ago somebody got relegated on 52 points, and it is vital we pick up another win and a draw to make ourselves safe.

“The players are fully aware and filly focused that we need to get there, and I would also like to think that with the gaffer being new in, nobody is going to rest on their laurels.

“They have to continue to impress and improve so we can take the club further.”