Anderson: Cobblers have rekindled my love for football

When Keith Curle challenged Paul Anderson to add goals to his game, he probably didn’t expect such an immediate response.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:55 am
Paul Anderson waved to his son in the crowd before his team-mates mobbed him after scoring against Morecambe. Picture: Pete Norton

Curle has had very little reason to criticise Anderson since he unexpectedly signed the midfielder on a short-term deal in October.

The 31-year-old’s energy and industry in the middle of the park has been a major factor behind Town’s surge up the League Two table and that form was rewarded with a new contract last week.

But while his manager has largely been full of praise, there was still one thing missing from Anderson’s game.

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And it turns out Curle was not the only one badgering him to score more goals.

“My little boy is only three but he’s been getting on at me – ‘daddy, have you scored a goal?!’ and I have to keep saying ‘sorry, not yet’,” said Anderson after his goal helped Cobblers to a 4-1 victory over Morecambe on Saturday.

“So he’s been getting at me but it was lovely to go over and celebrate with him and all the boys came over to me as well because I think they know it was a special moment for me.

“It was a real difficult time when I was without the club over the summer and it was such a nice moment to finally celebrate a goal after putting in some good performances.

“It’s been a great week for the club and myself personally and I really believe the club are going somewhere.

“The staff and the players are all pulling together and the lads have been brilliant since I signed.

“I know we were struggling a bit when I first came in but we’ve just been on this great run and all of us in the changing room believe we’re doing the right thing.

“It’s not always the prettiest but we know exactly what we’re doing and we’re working hard at it in training and bringing it to matches.”

Anderson’s opener against Morecambe had a touch of fortune about it when his cross deceived goalkeeper Mark Halstead and found the far corner, but despite trying to claim a brace, the second goal was awarded to Ryan Watson.

Watson appeared to get the faintest of touches on Anderson’s low cross and when Nicky Adams added a third 10 minutes into the second-half, victory was effectively sealed.

Adams Phillips offered Morecambe brief hope just past the hour-mark but Chris Lines then took centre stage with a goal of the season contender, thundering home a superb volley from Adams’ cross.

The victory lifted Northampton to sixth in League Two – the highest they’ve been all season – and increased their win percentage to 70% when Anderson is in the side, so the decision to hand him a new contract was an obvious one.

It’s also an arrangement that benefits the former Nottingham Forest, whose love for the game had been wavering prior to his return.

“I think it’s the mutual respect to be honest,” he said. “They’ve given me an opportunity at a time when I was potentially down and out.

“I’ve missed so much football through no fault of my own and I’d lost that love for the game a bit, but Cobblers gave me an opportunity to find that love again.

“I’m loving every minute. You can see that when I’m playing because I’m smiling all the time - although I do sometimes get angry on the pitch for no reason!

“It’s one of those where I’m just loving playing football at the minute and I hope people can see that when I’m on the pitch. When the run is as good as it has been for us, how can you not enjoy it?”