Brady wants Cobblers to play with intensity and energy after Kabamba's pressing forces error in friendly win over Birmingham

Town boss also discusses pre-season progress and Chukwuemeka's off-the-ball improvement

Monday, 26th July 2021, 12:03 pm
Jon Brady in conversation with assistant Colin Calderwood.

Pressing from the front with intensity and energy is likely to be a feature of Cobblers' play this season after Nicke Kabamba forced Birmingham goalkeeper Matija Sarkic into a mistake during Saturday's friendly at Sixfields.

Town's energy and work off the ball has been a theme of the last two friendlies and they were rewarded when Kabamba pressed Sarkic into an error before tapping home to give Cobblers a 2-1 lead.

Manager Jon Brady hopes to see more of that when the new season gets underway, saying: "That typifies us a little bit because we're all connecting but when it's on to press, we press aggressively, isn't that great to see?

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"We were pressing from the front and leading from the front and you saw that from my team last year as well - we defended from the front and everyone works for one another.

"We had good intensity, especially in the first-half, but obviously, at the moment, with the players we have unavailable, we're bringing on the young players and giving them good game-time.

"We virtually had the same starting XI as Tuesday and that's down to what we have available at the moment, but overall I'm glad everyone is fit and well and we got more minutes in the players."

Cobblers have now had four friendlies and play another two - against Rushden & Diamonds and Cambridge - before opening their Sky Bet League Two campaign.

Asked if he feels his side are on track for the new season, Brady added: "It's going well. You've got to compartmentalise a lot of things because you plan ahead but you also deal with the moment and that's all we're doing.

"I felt we dealt with Saturday well enough and now we will have a little bit of time off before we play Rushden & Diamonds.

"We are then going to a little camp for a couple of days and that should build our values and our standards as a group and we're just really looking forward to it. We've got a good group here."

Caleb Chukwuemeka scored the winning goal on Saturday when his shot took a deflection and wrong-footed Sarkic.

The 19-year-old striker, who continues to be linked with a move away from the club, has had his off-the-ball work questioned by both Brady and previous manager Keith Curle, but Town's current boss believes it is something that is getting better.

"He's really working on that," he added. "There needs to be a bit more of an awareness from him and there are a couple of technical issues as well, but the attitude to work and the want to do it is a lot better.

"That's all you can ask for, first and foremost, when you're a manager."