David Buchanan says he would be ‘happy’ for Dean Austin to get the Cobblers job on a full-time basis after hailing the current caretaker manager as ‘a great bloke and a great coach’.
Town have won two of the four games Austin has taken charge of as they followed a 3-0 defeat at Blackpool with contrasting victories over Bury and Plymouth before Saturday’s last-gasp 1-0 loss to Walsall, which effectively consigned them to relegation from Sky Bet League One.
The 48-year-old has clearly had a positive impact on both players and fans since he replaced former boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink four weeks ago, rejuvenating the team on the pitch and galvanising those off it, and there are now calls for him to be given the permanent job.
“I’d be happy with that,” said Buchanan, who has started all four games under Austin. “I think he’s done no wrong and he’s had a great reaction from the players.
“Off the pitch, he’s a great bloke and he’s a great coach on the training ground. He’s honest and he wears his heart on his sleeve.
“Those decisions aren’t up to me but I think he’s going to be the favourite.”
Fair play to Deano, he’s been different class since he’s come in. We look look a decent team, we’re passing it about the pitch and we’re creating chances.
The way Austin revived hope when relegation looked a mere formality prompted questions over whether or not the club left it too late to appoint him and sack Hasselbaink, with the decision coming just five weeks and five games before the end of the season.
“I’m just a player at the club and I’m not here to make those decisions, but in my opinion, yes maybe we could have done it a bit sooner if I’m being truthful,” admitted Buchanan.
“Fair play to Deano, he’s been different class since he’s come in. He’s given us a real organisation and we look a team on the front foot again.
“We look look a decent team, we’re passing it about the pitch and we’re creating chances.
“We got done in the 90th minute (on Saturday) but we look like a team that can get clean sheets again and he’s just been different class.”
Bucnanan’s fellow defender, Leon Barnett, also had his say on the issue, adding: “All respect to Jimmy. He came in and tried his best but I’m not one to be spiteful and say bad things about him because he did the job to the best of his ability.
“Deano’s done a great job since he’s come in. We came into Saturday on the back of two wins which was great but we’re judged on the whole season and not just one or two games.”