Boss Page praises '˜unbelievable' attitude of Cobblers players ahead of Vale trip
Boss Rob Page insists the spirit in the Cobblers camp is still high, despite the team being on a four-match losing streak in Sky Bet League One.
Town travel to Page’s former club Port Vale this Saturday aiming to call a halt to that run, and the manager believes they can do just that in Burslem.
Page says the squad’s attitude in training has been ‘unbelievable’, and is confident he and his players will stop the rot sooner rather than later.
The four defeats suffered by the Cobblers have all been in close matches, with Page believing they didn’t deserve to lose any of them.
All of the losses have been by a single goal, with Town going down 2-1 at Gillingham and 1-0 at Bradford City, and then 1-0 at home to Peterborough United and Bolton Wanderers.
To add salt to the Cobblers’ wounds, the winners for the Gills and Posh both came in time added on at the end of the game.
Page feels luck has not been on his team’s side, and that their fortunes are sure to change.
Asked if spirit in the camp has been affected by such a negative run of results, Page said: “The players’ attitude has been unbelievable, because we know there is not a lot wrong.
“We have just played one of the best teams in the division in Bolton, and we should have beaten them.
“There were a lot of positives to take from that game, and we know we are very close to getting back to winning ways.
“We have to keep to what we have been doing in training, and the boys have been excellent.
“Their attitude on Monday was excellent, because they could have easily sulked after Sunday’s game being called off as they were in all weekend and that spoiled their weekend, but they didn’t, they got on with it.”
The Cobblers’ FA Cup second round clash at Stourbridge on Sunday was called off just two hours before kick-off due to a frozen pitch, meaning the squad will travel to Port Vale having had a two-week break from playing.
John-Joe O’Toole is suspended for the trip to Vale Park, while Brendan Moloney is also missing as he is out for six to eight weeks after undergoing a knee operation on Monday.
JJ Hooper, who is on loan from Vale, is still struggling with a thigh strain but would have been ineligibile to play anyway, while central defender Zander Diamond is out with a fractured cheekbone.
The Scotsman is making progress though, and is set to resume non-contact training with the rest of the squad at Moulton College this morning.
The injury and suspension situation is not ideal for Cobblers, but Page believes his squad is well prepared due to the recruitment the club made in the summer.
“This is why we had to do the business we did in the summer, with the changes to the loan rules,” said the Town boss.
“You look at teams like Bury in our division, they had a difficult spell and the manager loses his job because of it (the rule change), because the ruling hurts a lot of clubs lower down, because they haven’t got the resources to go and get two or three players for each position.
“It can be very difficult, and is why we did what we did in the summer to double up in all the positions so that if any situation like this was to arise then we have the players in the squad to step in and take their place.”