Cobblers boss Dean Austin has hinted he will make changes for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Colchester United – and has challenged his players to put on a show to ‘make our supporters proud again’.
Town are still without a win in five matches this season, and on Tuesday night they turned in their worst performance of the campaign to date as they went down 1-0 at Morecambe.
That result saw the Cobblers slip into the bottom four, and on Saturday they take on a Colchester side that is unbeaten this term and on Tuesday night thrashed Crewe Alexandra 6-0.
They will certainly have their tails up when they take on Town at the weekend, and Austin has suggested he could tinker with his starting line-up after the performance at the Globe Arena, which he admitted was ‘nowhere near’ good enough.
The Cobblers boss certainly has plenty of options at his disposal, with midfielder Shaun McWilliams fit again after recovering from his hamstring strain, Junior Morias fit and firing and desperate for his full League debut for the club, and John-Joe O’Toole chomping at the bit having been left on the bench for the past two games.
Central defender Aaron Pierre is also back in the frame after missing the trip to Morecambe, while the likes of Billy Waters and Jack Bridge also desperate to show what they can do.
“There may be changes, and I might roll the dice in a different direction,” admitted Austin, who is keen to put the smiles back on the faces of Cobblers supporters still reeling from the midweek no-show from their team.
“The one thing you can be rest assured with me is that I won’t be sitting back trying to get a point, that’s not how I go about things.
“I try and win every game and I have to put a team out on the pitch on Saturday that one, can go and win us the game, and two, make our supporters proud to be a Cobbler again, because that is what we need to do.
“Good teams go to places like Morecambe and grind out a result, and we were nowhere near where we needed to be to get a result, for 65 minutes at least.
“I believe the players are capable, and if I didn’t think they were capable, then I wouldn’t have started this process.
“But we have to improve every day, we have to come into work and me and Toddy (Andy Todd) work really hard trying to improve the players, because if we can do that, then we improve the team.”
And he added: “There were parts of our game that we have spoken about from the second day of pre-season that we didn’t do the other night.
“So we were out on the training field on Thursday morning and we went back through those things, because the other night we were far too easy to play against.”
Being easy to play against is not going to be advisable against a confident Colchester side, who have won two and drawn two of their league matches so far this season.
Austin is impressed by the job United boss John McGreal has done at the Community Stadium, and says he and Colchester are reaping the rewards of having a clear plan for where the club is going.
“John McGreal has done a very, very good job at Colchester, and he has done it over a period with a lot of the same players that he has had for a couple of years,” said Austin.
“Colchester have a model where they bring through their young players, their youth players, and they give them opportunities to play football.
“The get out there from a young age, and I think he (McGreal) is reaping the benefits from that, because they have let him get on with the job and he has had some patience.
“He has an excellent chairman who I know well, and they are a decent outfit there is no doubt about that, as they have shown so far.”