Brady provides fascinating insight into the problems Cobblers faced during promotion-winning season

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‘I didn’t enjoy it at times this season. It was bittersweet all the time and I couldn’t celebrate wins because we’d lose two or three players.’

Manager Jon Brady has provided some fascinating insight into the problems he faced during Northampton’s tumultuous, injury-blighted season that ended in promotion to League One last week.

It was no secret that Brady and his staff battled problems galore en route to promotion, but on the Cobblers Show on BBC Radio Northampton last week, the Town boss gave some further context to the various issues he faced in the final few weeks of the season...

McGowan’s speech after a nightmare afternoon at Newport

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"The Newport game was a complete mess,” Brady admitted. “We started OK but as soon as Aaron McGowan gets injured, we concede. We stayed in the game but then, with a couple of minutes to go, Akin Odimayo is off the pitch. James Alger has the radio to his ear and he’s trying to listen to what the physio is saying but he can’t hear because of the noise of the crowd.

"AK wanted to go back on but Michael’s saying ‘no, he can’t go on’ and had we heard that we would have stopped the game and made the substitution and then we would have had 11 on the pitch and we wouldn’t have conceded the second goal. But we concede and then we concede again and we lose three players from that game.

"After the game, I was trying to be quite even and calm but Aaron spoke up in the changing room. He’s injured, his foot is in huge pain but he’s giving a strong speech and he’s saying ‘we can still do this, we have to win the next game but we can do this’. Those are the type of players we have in the changing room.”

Guthrie’s injury against Carlisle

Jon BradyJon Brady
Jon Brady

"Twenty minutes in he went ‘gaffer, I’ve felt my hamstring’ and at the time I asked (Lee) Burgey to go down but Jon’s running over to me saying ‘gaffer I’ve done my hamstring!’ and I’m saying to him ‘why are you coming over to me? I’ve sent Michael (Bolger) on to give you some time!’

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"Michael felt we could get through to half-time and we did that but Jon said ‘look, I’m done but I’m going to stay out there and I’ll bring the two either side of me really tight and I’ll just head everything away’ but you might have noticed he never went up for set-pieces because he couldn’t get back.

"But we get through the game, we get a point and then we find out he’s done his hamstring and he’s out for the season. But it’s just testament to Jon that he got through that game. There are stories within stories and it’s incredible what this group of young men have been through.”

Chaotic preparation for trip to Sutton

"The day before the game, we were training with Jack Sowerby as our central centre-back and Shaun McWilliams as our right-sided centre-back because at the time Max Dyche and Sam Sherring weren’t able to play.

"We are filling them with belief and telling them ‘this is what we are going to do and this is how we’re going to do it’ but at the time I could see Sam and Max wanted to say something to me after training and I could feel they wanted to play.

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"Sam said to me ‘I’m going to play tomorrow if you want to pick me’ but he hadn’t done anything. He had done some running but he hadn’t done any change of direction so I spoke to the physio and he left it up to me.

"Max being Max went ‘I’m going to play as well’ and he had three or four sessions under his belt. I wanted to play the long game with him but we had a chat with the medical staff, we went backwards and forwards and Sam Sherring ended up playing 90 minutes in that game. He hadn’t kicked a ball and he hadn’t trained in five weeks. He was still two or three weeks from being fully fit but he gritted his teeth and got out there.

"Then Max comes on after 20 minutes and he has a cracking game as well. Shaun would have been a push and he was gutted because he wanted to start but I wanted to put round pegs in round holes and I said to him that I will need him at some point and he closed the game out at right-sided centre-half.

"I didn’t enjoy it at times this season. It was bittersweet all the time and I couldn’t celebrate wins because we’d lose two or three players. But I came home on the bus from Tranmere and I sat next to Colin (Calderwood) and we were just smiling to each other. The boys were singing and celebrating and it felt so serene and so peaceful. I just really want to enjoy this moment.”