Brady says his 'incredible group of players' will bounce back in the play-offs

Town must now steel themselves for play-off challenge

By James Heneghan
Monday, 9th May 2022, 11:26 am

Cobblers boss Jon Brady has complete faith that his ‘incredible group of players’ will bounce back from their promotion heartache to have a strong crack at the play-offs.

Town were denied automatic promotion in the most remarkable and crushing of circumstances on Saturday when their excellent 3-1 win at Barrow was trumped by Bristol Rovers’ 7-0 demolition of Scunthorpe United.

That was enough for Rovers to secure third place on goals scored and now means Northampton must make do with the play-offs. They go to Mansfield for the first leg on Saturday evening (7.45pm kick-off) before returning to Sixfields next Wednesday.

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Jon Brady with fans after Saturday's game at Barrow. Picture: Will Matthews/PA Wire.

Cobblers players, staff and fans were deflated and forlorn as they trudged around the Holker Street pitch after full-time on Saturday, but they must quickly get their heads around it and steel themselves for the play-offs.

"All I can say is, full praise to our players,” said Brady. “That's 80 points and 23 wins from 46 games. We finished only four points off top and that's something which hasn't been achieved by this club for a long, long time.

"That group in the changing room is an incredible group of players This is a setback but they couldn't help that and they couldn't help what happened.

"What happened with Scunthorpe doesn't concern me. We need to concentrate on the play-offs.”

Asked why he’s confident they will be fine for the play-offs, Brady added: "Just because they are a hugely strong group and they never lie down.

"As you have seen all season, when the chips have been down and our backs have been against the wall and everyone thinks we don't have any right to win a game, we come out and win games.

"That group will pick themselves up and I will give them loads of positives and we will work as hard as we can to try and win the two-legged semi-final against Mansfield."

Over 600 supporters made the long trip up to Barrow on Saturday and Brady went over to speak to them after the full-time whistle.

"The amount of fans who travelled to Barrow, we can't thank them enough,” he continued. "We have given our all and they have given their all and we appreciate that.

"We thank the fans back at Sixfields as well. We had 2,000 there for the beamback and it's incredible what this club can do but now we need them again – hopefully for three more times.

"Our fans are fantastic and I went round at the end to try and thank every single one of them for all their efforts. They were trying to pick me up as well but I don't need picking up.

"We will be up for it, don't worry about that."

Cobblers will have no Liam Roberts for the first leg after his late red card at Barrow.

Brady added: "Liam Roberts is suspended but Jonny Maxted is a fantastic replacement to come in and do a great job.”