David Buchanan has reiterated his belief that the Cobblers are capable of winning the Sky Bet League Two title this season – now they have to go out and prove it as they face successive home games.
After a frustrating start to the campaign, Town finally got a win under their belts last weekend as previously unbeaten Colchester United were seen off 2-1 at the Jobserve Community Stadium.
When we are being positive after games, and saying ‘stick with us’ and stuff like that, it’s not because we are just saying it for the sake of it, we are saying it because we know the results will comeCobblers defender David Buchanan
The result means Town are still in the bottom half of the Sky Bet League Two table with five points from five games, but Buchanan insists the team is deserving of more than that.
The poor performance in the defeat at Morecambe aside, Buchanan has been delighted with how he and his team-mates have been playing this season.
The Cobblers now go in search of their first home win of the campaign when Tranmere Rovers come town on Saturday, and with Cheltenham Town at the PTS Academy eight days later Buchanan believes this is a great chance for the team to make a real statement.
“When I speak, I always speak from the heart, and this group of players is more than capable of winning this league, never mind going up through the play-offs or automatically,” said Buchanan, who was a key member of Chris Wilder’s title-winning team of 2015/16, starting every game.
“I think we have started unbelievably this season.
“On the pitch I think our performances have been strong, but the results are what matter, and we know that as players.
“When we are being positive after games, and saying ‘stick with us’ and stuff like that, it’s not because we are just saying it for the sake of it, we are saying it because we know the results will come.
“Consistency is key, and we have two home games on the trot now, back-to-back games to go and get victories on the board which will send the majority of the punters home happy.”
Two of the biggest plus points of recent games has been the fact strikers Kevin van Veen and Billy Waters have got off the mark in Cobblers colours after lengthy barren spells.
Waters netted what turned out to be the winner at Colchester last weekend, which was his first goal for the club since signing in the summer of 2017, while van Veen broke his duck in the trip to Carlisle earlier this month, his first strike since joining Town in January.
The Dutchman followed that up with a double in the 2-2 draw with Cambridge United, and Buchanan is delighted he and Waters are showing the form he knows they are capable of.
“Kev is training with confidence, he has a smile on his face, and he is great to have around the place,” said Buchanan. “He is such a funny person, his banter is different class, and I am really pleased for him.
“I hope he goes on now and scores 25 or 30 goals.
“Billy has been a bit different, because he went out on loan last season, he has come back and worked hard.
“He has been knocking on the door in pre-season, and day in, day out, and every chance he has got he has shown the gaffer what he can do, and that is what the manager wants.
“He says everybody will get a chance, and the door is never closed to anybody.
“The week before the Colchester game, Billy wasn’t in the squad, and then at the weekend he comes back in, and the same with Jack Bridge, they have come back in and put performances on.
“For Billy, ultimately he gets on and scores the winning goal, and I am absolutely delighted for him.”
As well as being pleased for the players, Buchanan also stressed that the more players that hit their best form, the better it will be for the team.
“It is a squad that gets a team promoted,” said the 32-year-old.
“You are only as strong as your weakest link, and that’s a fact, and if people like Billy are pushing Kev (van Veen), Willo (Andy Williams) and Junior (Morias), then that is good for us.
“It means that if one of them is not doing it, then one of the others is going to go in and take their chance.”