Brady welcomes the pressure of higher expectations going into season-opener at Sixfields

Many pundits have predicted Cobblers to finish in the top three, with some tipping them for the title

By James Heneghan
Friday, 29th July 2022, 9:41 am
Jon Brady
Jon Brady

Cobblers boss Jon Brady says he welcomes any added pressure on both himself and his team ahead of Saturday’s season-opener against Colchester United at Sixfields.

Town were not among the most fancied teams this time last year but fast forward 12 months and it’s a different story, with many expecting Brady’s side to be in the mix for automatic promotion.

Hopes are particularly high among supporters who will be desperate to forget the heartache of last season and go one better by securing a return to League One.

"I understand that when you perform how we did last season, and we did what we did overall, then there comes that level of expectation,” admitted Brady. "I would say this is now a new group and again we will be trying to get the best out of that group.

"I understand that our fans especially will expect, and I would rather have that pressure that is put on us to get those results and be there or thereabouts.

"If the fans feel that, I don't want to take that away from them, because we are pushing hard as a staff, as a group, to try and be the best we can be and get the best results we can.

"Hopefully we can live up to that (expectation), but ultimately we will be doing the best we can with this group."

Whilst Cobblers have been tipped by many for a top-three finish this season, opening-day opponents Colchester are among the favourites for relegation.

"First and foremost we have to focus on ourselves,” Brady added. “We will make sure we are diligent and try and exploit the opposition when in possession, and nullify them out of possession.

"All due respect to Colchester, they have a good manager and some very experienced players that know the league, and know leagues above inside and out.

"It will be a tough challenge at home, the first game of the season is always a bit cagey as well as everyone knows. It will be a really tough test and we are not expecting anything less."

Brady is pleased to be starting on home turf, adding: "It is really positive that we are starting at home, with our home fans and we want them to get behind us.

"We have to give them a lift as well in the way we start and the intensity and energy that we bring to the game.

"But they really came to the fore for us at the end of last season, and we look forward to them roaring us on this season as well."