Chris Wilder has put Northampton’s success this season down to a collective effort after they went top of Sky Bet League Two with a 4-3 win over Luton on Saturday.
Goals from John-Joe O’Toole, Marc Richards, Lawson D’Ath and Ricky Holmes saw the Cobblers to a seventh straight win as they pipped Luton in a thrilling encounter at Kenilworth Road.
That was enough to put Northampton top of the table with both Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle failing to win.
But that success has not be down to one or two standout performers, with every Cobblers player playing their part in guiding the team to top spot.
Although Richards has done the bulk of the scoring and Nicky Adams is the chief creator, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has chipped in with crucial goals while Alfie Potter, D’Ath and Holmes have also been key, with O’Toole and Joel Byrom excellent in midfield and David Buchanan ever-consistent at left-back.
And instead of singling out individuals, Wilder paid tribute to the contribution of every player after Saturday’s win.
He said: “There’s no individual praise because it’s not an individual game and I’ve said all along that it’s a group effort.
“We had Jason Taylor come on against Luton and he did a great job in helping us see the game out and Ricky’s obviously played his part.
“And the young lads have done great. Sam Hoskins is chomping at the bit, Rod McDonald’s done really well lately and the two centre-halves were outstanding on Saturday and Dom (Calvert-Lewin) has done well.
“They’re all playing a part this season and it has to be like that.”
After seeing his side reach the League Two summit, Wilder was understandably quick to state the need to remain focussed and not get complacent given their exemplary recent form that has taken them two points clear of second-placed Oxford.
“We had to calm a couple of the players down at half-time because they were talking about couple of things that had happened in the first half and this, that and the other,” he added.
“But I said that I didn’t want to talk about what had happened, we had to talk about what was going to happen in the second half.
“We have to keep a rein of it. We’ve had an outstanding first 21 games and getting to the top of the league with 43 points is a great effort and you look at the points totals in all three divisions and that’s right up there.
“We’re on a roll, we’ve a lot of momentum going forward and we have a lot of exciting games coming up.
“These games now become exciting and become important because of our efforts in the previous months and the games of football we’ve played.
“We have another great game coming up this week and we’ve worked hard to get into this position and I believe looking at the players that they don’t want to relinquish it.
“They showed that on Saturday. We talked about before the game that we don’t want to be a team which flits in and around it.
“There are some big clubs in this competition, some powerful teams and a lot of good players as we saw with Luton.
“So the competition is tough but we’re in a good place and we have to move onto the next game pretty quickly.”
Looking back to Saturday’s game at Luton and in particular the inventive free-kick routine which led to O’Toole’s equaliser, Wilder continued: “We work on things on the training ground. It’s like anything else - this a group effort whatever happens and it’s an important part of our game.
“We’ve got a good delivery but we’ve also got players who are nice and bright and it was a great goal from our point of view.
“We’ve scored some really good goals and played really well.
“Let’s talk about what was a really good performance and let’s talk about my team who have yet again shown enormous character because at 3-3 a lot of teams would have gone under but it was important for us to get a win and we’ve managed to do that.”