Taylor believes Cobblers squad well set for league one challenge

PLENTY OF QUALITY - Jason Taylor, pictured celebrating his goal in the FA Cup win over Northwich in December, believes the Cobblers squad is already well prepared for life in league one next season
PLENTY OF QUALITY - Jason Taylor, pictured celebrating his goal in the FA Cup win over Northwich in December, believes the Cobblers squad is already well prepared for life in league one next season

Midfielder Jason Taylor believes the Cobblers squad is already well equipped to handle the challenge of playing in league one next season.

Town sealed promotion from Sky Bet League Two last weekend with five games to spare.

They are possibly one win away from claiming the title as well, and Taylor is confident the new campaign can be another good one for the Cobblers.

The former Rotherham United man is well used to playing at league one level, and believes it will just be a case of tinkering with things for manager Chris Wilder to ensure the team is competitive next season.

Of the current Town squad - loan players aside - only Josh Lelan and Danny Rose are out of contract in the summer, and Taylor said: “We have some really good players, who will comfortably be able to play in league one.

“We will maybe need to tighten up as a team defensively a little bit next season, because the strikers we will play against will perhaps be of a higher quality.

“But I think that’s the only area, because at the top of the pitch we are fantastic.

“I think it will be just bringing in a few numbers, add to what we have got, and we will be fine.”

The Cobblers travel to Exeter City on Saturday hoping to seal the win that could wrap up the league two title.

A win for Town and Oxford United failing to beat Luton Town at the Kassam Stadium will see them crowned champions, and Taylor is desperate to clinch the silverware.

“We set our target at the start of the season, and we have achieved what we wanted to do in getting promotion,” said Taylor.

“Now we just need to take the next step and become champions.

“At the start of the season we backed ourselves and wanted to get promoted out of the division, and we didn’t care how that was done.

“We are now in a really good position, we are top of the league, we have secured promotion, and another win will hopefully win us the league.”

“We have three big games coming up, Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, and hopefully we can get the title wrapped up and keep our unbeaten run going as well.”

Taylor is once again likely to start on the bench at St James Park, as he has had to for most of the season.

The 29-year-old started the season as a first choice in central midfield, but two red cards and two suspensions gave John-Joe O’Toole the chance to make his mark - and what a mark he has made.

O’Toole’s stunning form has meant Taylor has had to wait in the wings, and he accepts that situation.

“It has been difficult for myself, because John-Joe has been brilliant since he has got into the team,” said Taylor, who has made 35 appearances this season, but only 13 starts.

“You just have patient, and when your chance arises you have to take it.

“All the lads are the same, and the training is a really high standard at the moment, week in, week out, because the lads know if they are not performing they will be out of the team.”

It has been a remarkable season in many ways for the Cobblers, and Taylor admits he has never experienced anything quite like it.

“I have never been in the type of situation that we were in earlier in the season, when we were close to administration, and we weren’t getting paid, but the lads stuck together brilliantly, and the staff, everybody,” he said.

“Kelvin Thomas has come in, and we haven’t looked back since.

“You can see that this is a tight-knit club, everybody sticks together and that has helped us along the way, with the fans behind us as well and turning out in numbers week in, week out, home and away. It’s been brilliant.”