Cobblers boss Chris Wilder says his nomination for the Sky Bet League Two manager of the month for February is a reward for a brilliant team effort at Sixfields - including the club’s supporters.
Wilder won the manager of the month award for January after a 100 per cent record, and has followed it up with a February nomination after a run of five wins and one draw in their six games.
Four of those matches were on the road, with lengthy trips to York and Hartlepool thrown in, while the two fixtures at Sixfields were home sell-outs, and Wilder insists the fans - with a few shy of 2,000 going to Oxford and 1,000-plus to Leyton Orient - are more than playing their part in the team’s success this season.
“As I have said on the other nominations, this is a group effort,” said Wilder.
“It was a hectic schedule for us as a football club, and on and off the pitch we have achieved great results in that period.
“We had some tough games against teams in and around us, there was a lot of travelling as well, so it is testament to the preparation from everybody, the coaching staff and the professionalism of the players to roll on.
“It was all of those things combined, and we had fantastic backing from our supporters as well.
“The travelling we have had to do, we have not done it with 50, 75 or 100 behind the goal, we have have taken great numbers away from home and also packed out every game at Sixfields.
“So it has been a big effort from everybody for the nomination, and we now move on to another big game on Saturday.”
As well as Wilder being nominated for the top boss award, central defender Rod McDonald is up for the league two player of the month gong.
Wilder believes it is a worthy nomination for the former Telford man, but says the player himself would be the first to acknowledge he too has had plenty of help from those around him.
“You look to improve your players, and Rod was a player that came into the football club pre-season, and has improved and improved, and he has had a great month,” said the Cobblers boss.
“We still think there is lot more work to put into Rod, but he has worked extremely hard, and produced some fantastic performances along with the others, and I am sure he would be the first to talk about people, as I do, that we work alongside.
“I would imagine he would be the first to talk about the influence of David Buchanan, of Zander Diamond, of Ryan Cresswell when he has played, of the players in front of him, of Brendan Moloney and the goalkeeper as well.
“Rod has played his part in a really good defensive effort, we only conceded one goal in the month, and what a goal that was in the 94th minute at York, but knowing the players and the goalkeeper they would have been disappointed with that, which is good. So Rod has been part of a great team effort.”
McDonald has not been involved in the past two Cobblers fixtures after a bout of illness, but he is fit and available again for Saturday’s Sixfields clash with Cambridge United.
The only players unavailable are Paul Corry (knee) and skipper Marc Richards (Achilles), but the latter is back out doing light work on the training pitch and should be available to play a part in the match at Stevenage on March 19.