Zakuani confident Cobblers will cope with ‘huge’ step up to league one

Gaby Zakuani

Gaby Zakuani

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Cobblers central defender Gaby Zakuani knows all about what it takes to succeed in league one.

The big central defender twice won promotion to the championship with his former club Peterborough United.

And although Zakuani is warning his new team-mates they face a ‘huge’ step up when the new campaign begins, he is confident the Cobblers will be able to compete.

“I think the difference between league two and one is huge,” said Zakuani.

“There are some huge, huge clubs in league one, and although you do get the odd big club in league two, in league one you have the teams that come down from the championship that are massive.

“You then still have the likes of Sheffield United and Bradford City which are massive, massive clubs, so it is a step up.

“But I think the spirit the boys already have from last season and the momentum they have can definitely help us.

“Judging by last season, and the gaffer’s experience in league one, we should be able to compete.”

Page is delighted to have acquired the services of Zakuani, who he calls ‘a proper defender’.

“Gaby has experience of getting promotion out of this division and I think that is important when you are bringing players into the squad,” said the Cobblers boss.

“Not only the fact they have experience at this level, but having been successful at this level as well.

“Gaby has that experience, he is an international, he has pace, and he is a proper defender.

“I have seen him play time and time again, and he will throw himself into things and he is quick to get himself out of trouble at times. He is a great addition.”

Zakuani will meet up his new team-mates for the first time on Thursday when the players report back to Sixfields ahead of the first day of pre-season training on Friday.

He admits he is excited at moving to a new club after a long spell at Peterborough, and that he is ‘hungry’ to perform well.

“This is a new challenge for me, and I am hungry and ready to go,” said the 30-year-old.

“As long as I show what I can do, and I jump on board with the plans at this football club, I am sure everything will go smoothly.”