Byrom desperate to cap brilliant season with league two title success
Promotion is already sealed, but the Cobblers won't be easing up until the Sky Bet League Two title is in the bag.
Sky Bet League Two leaders Town are 12 points clear of second-placed Oxford United with just five games remaining, and Joel Byrom admits Town will have to do ‘something seriously wrong’ not to claim the silverware.
But the midfielder insists there will be no change in attitude from him or any of his team-mates as they aim to finish the season on a high.
The Cobblers travel to play-off chasing Exeter City on Saturday knowing a win will be enough to secure the title, providing they better Oxford’s result against Luton Town.
Byrom is desperate to get that silverware in the bank, and believes Town deserve to be top dogs for their efforts over the past eight months.
“We have to win the league,” said the former Preston North End man. “We are in a position now where if we lose the league, we have done something seriously wrong.
“I know promotion has been secured, but we have to knuckle down.
“It is always nice to actually win a league, as when you get older and you have your kids and grandkids, you can say that I won a league, rather than finished second in the league, or third.
“You would much rather say ‘I have won the league’ and have the medals to prove it, the trophies to prove it, and that is what we are aiming for.”
Byrom not only wants to win the league for himself and the rest of the players, but also for the club’s supporters.
Asked about the relationship between the club, players and fans, Byrom said: “This is the best I’ve been involved in.
“You could tell on Saturday that they were behind us from the word go, as they have been all season.
“Look at the followings we’ve had, such as the MK Dons game, and then at other places we have sold out the away ends all year really, and that says everything.”
A title win will also add a very thick silver lining to what has been a season with some very dark days, paricularly back in October and November, when the players and staff weren’t getting paid and didn’t know if there was even a future at the club thanks to the off-field financial problems.
That situation was rescued by the takeover of the club by Kelvin Thomas, who has settled the ship and more, but Byrom admits it was a difficult time for the squad.
But a time that brought everybody together.
“You were hoping more than anything, things were going day by day and you didn’t know what was going on,” said the 29-year-old, when asked just how difficult that period was for the players.
“You were hearing things, and the club was trying to tell us as much as possible and they were brilliant with us throughout.
“But I think that time united everyone, the players, the staff, the fans, the whole town really.
“Everybody came together and you have seen that through the whole season, and especially since the Portsmouth game when we have been unbeaten, it has been brilliant.”
And he added: “We came through it, that gave everybody a lift, and then obviously we got a few results.
“Those results started getting better, we were getting wins, the confidence was growing and it was just like a big roller-coaster.
“It’s a momentum thing, and we have took that on and not looked back.”