Boss Edinburgh hoping for a Bescot repeat as Cobblers face Walsall test

Justin Edinburgh is hoping his good fortune against Walsall continues on Saturday when he takes his Cobblers team to the Bescot Stadium (ko 3pm).

Friday, 3rd February 2017, 10:02 am
Updated Friday, 3rd February 2017, 10:03 am
Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

The Town manager has squared up to the Saddlers twice in Sky Bet League One this season while in charge at Gillingham, claiming a 1-1 draw at the Priestfield Stadium in October, and then a 2-1 win in the west midlands a month later.

Edinburgh knows what it takes to get the better of Jon Whitney’s side, although he knows they are going to be a dangerous opponent after a run of good results, and a tinkering of their formation to a 3-5-1-1 line-up.

“They are scoring plenty of goals, just like ourselves, so it will probably by a 0-0,” joked the Cobblers boss.

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“I have had the opportunity of coming up against them twice already this season, not too long ago, so we have good information.

“But, of late they have changed their formation and that’s off the back of them having some really good success and some fantastic results, so they will be a buoyant camp.”

Cobblers go into the game on the back of their first win in six games, with Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Coventry ending a run of five straight defeats, but they have conceded five in both of their past two away games, at Bristol Rovers and Milton Keynes Dons.

Walsall drew 0-0 at Millwall on Wednesday night but prior to that have been banging in the goals.

They have beaten Sheffield United 4-1 and Bristol Rovers 3-1 in their two previous home matces, as well as drawing 3-3 at Bury last Saturday.

“We will have to be on top of our game and continue what we put in place last weekend and try to build on that,” said Edinburgh.

“It will be a tough place to play, it always is, but even more so now they have found a rich vein of form in front of goal.”

Walsall’s top scorer and main man this season has been Erhun Oztumer.

The 25-year-old has scored 10 times in Sky Bet League One, and although he only stands at 5ft 3in tall, Edinburgh knows he carries a big threat.

“He is a key player for them, and I think he has found a club and a home that suits him and plays to his strengths,” said the Cobblers boss.

“He is getting a lot of game time, is playing well, and we know what he is capable of and he will have to be dealt with.

“But we have some good offensive players ourselves that we feel can effect the opposition.”

One of those offensive players at the Bescot could be new loan signing Michael Smith, who joined from Portsmouth on deadline day on Tuesday.

A problem for Edinburgh though is that the Cobblers now have six loan players in their squad, and with only five loanees allowed to be named in a match-day 18, one of them is going to have to be left out.