'Adaptability' key for Brady after Cobblers switch between formations at Coventry and Colchester

Town boss not set on one system

By James Heneghan
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 10:56 am
Jon Brady and Colin Calderwood.
Jon Brady and Colin Calderwood.

Jon Brady has been delighted with his side’s ability to adapt to the situation during their excellent start to the season.

Cobblers flicked through several formations during their win over Coventry last week and then went to three at the back for the closing stages of Saturday’s game at Colchester.

Whilst 4-4-2 has largely been Brady’s system of choice so far, he believes his squad has the versatility to change mid-game if and when required.

At Coventry, the Cobblers started slowly and were outplayed for the first 20 minutes before a tweak in shape reversed the momentum.

“I think with this group of players we have flexibility and adaptability,” said Brady.

“With the shape we started with at Coventry, if I’m being honest, we were trying to lock onto what they played in the previous game but they changed from that.

“I’ll take that on my head as the manager because it didn’t work and we had to change and then we started to grow.

“There were a few technical issues that were off with our passing and we could have been a lot better and cleaner in our decision-making.

“But for the players to be adaptable and flexible and change and grow into the game, that’s probably what I’m really proud about, and then also to go 1-0 down and come back from that.

“We grew in confidence after the chances we created and it was just about us being a bit braver in our shape out of possession and once we were, we were much better in possession.

“It shows good signs for us for the future.”

Cobblers were then in control for an hour against Colchester, but came under the cosh when the home side put two up front and opted for a more direct approach.

That put Town on the back foot and they were forced to dig deep, especially after Fraser Horsfall’s red card.

Brady added: “Their shape in the first-half was a 3-4-2-1 with (Frank) Nouble up on his own and two 10s in the pockets and we were OK with that.

“But then their centre-backs really stepped in and added extra pressure and that extra man which pinned us back. We tried different shapes to lock them off, but when we got on the ball at times, in our half, we weren’t calm enough to find that extra pass when it was on.

“That just put ourselves under pressure and when we went down to 10 men, we were literally just defending for those last 10 minutes, it was like a training ground exercise!

“But the boys threw their bodies at it and put in so many blocks.”

Brady's side have had to show all sides of their game in the opening week.

They blunted a direct Port Vale on the opening weekend, came from behind to beat Championship opposition in the cup and then won ugly at Colchester.

Brady continued: “I’m pleased for the players and their efforts and I’m pleased for the staff but what’s most pleasing is that it’s three different types of wins.

“Against Port Vale, we saw it out, and then we came from 1-0 down to beat Championship opposition in midweek and on Saturday we were under the cosh and down to 10 men but dug deep.

“So we’ve been through lots of different scenarios in the last week and we’ve come out on top each time, but we’ve still got quite a bit to do.”