Dean Austin insists he would not swap his Cobblers squad for any other in Sky Bet League Two as he prepares them for what could be a ‘frustrating’ game against ‘a really well-organised’ Cambridge United outfit later today (Saturday).
The U’s, now under Joe Dunne’s guidance, visit the PTS Academy Stadium on the back of a 4-1 home defeat to Newport County in the Carabao Cup, which followed a last-gasp league win over Notts County and a heavy opening-day loss at Port Vale.
The Cobblers, meanwhile, have returned just one point from fixtures against Lincoln City and Carlisle United, and despite bigging up his squad’s quality and strength-in-depth this week, Austin believes today’s encounter might be another frustrating afternoon where patience will be key if Cambridge follow in Lincoln’s footsteps and come with the intention of sitting back.
Dunne’s route to the top job at Cambridge was similar to Austin in that he initially took charge as caretaker boss towards the back end of last season before a subsequent upturn in performances and results earned him the full-time position.
“I know Joe well,” said Austin. “He’s a very good coach he’ll have his set up organised. I expect a lot of teams to come to Sixfields and set up to be really well organised because of the threats they know that we pose.
“You always wonder what type of games that you’re going to get. Teams seeing how we play means they might set up differently to frustrate us and make things difficult for us but it’s up to us to create the right atmosphere.
I honestly wouldn’t swap my group and my squad for another other squad in the division in terms of what we have in strength in depth and a fantastic group of people that want to progress
“If we’re doing the right things and playing with the right intensity, the place will have a good atmosphere and that will help us.
“We have to be patient at times on the ball and make other teams have to work for it if they’re going to get anything.”
Austin has not been shy to heap praise on his squad and the quality available to him ever since taking charge earlier in the summer, and despite a slow start to the campaign, he reiterated those beliefs prior to Cambridge’s visit.
“The group are frustrated because we haven’t won but I honestly wouldn’t swap my group and my squad for another other squad in the division in terms of what we have in strength in depth and a fantastic group of people that want to progress, that want to improve and that want to do good things,” said the Town boss.
“I’ve said to the boys that the other night was disappointed and we will experience road bumps when things won’t always go our way and it’s about how we react to it.
“I’ve got complete confidence in the group and confidence in how we work and the processes we work to and I think in the long run we will reap the rewards of what we do.”