Byrom says tiredness won't be an issue as Cobblers press for promotion
Midfielder Joel Byrom insists tiredness will not be a factor as the Cobblers continue their push for promotion from Sky Bet League Two.
The Cobblers have endured a hectic spell of fixtures in the past few weeks, with Saturday’s trip to Carlisle United set to be their seventh fixture in the space of just 22 days.
The journey to Cumbria will also be the third long-haul fixture in little over a week for Chris Wilder’s men, following on from last Tuesday’s trip to York and Saturday’s match at Hartlepool United.
After a run of 10 straight wins, the Cobblers have stuttered slightly with draws in their past two games, 0-0 at Hartlepool and 1-1 against AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields on Tuesday, but Byrom insists fatigue has nothing to do with that, believing the results were down to the quality of the opposition.
“I don’t think it’s tiredness at all,” said Byrom, who was recalled to the starting line-up against AFC after missing the previous four games.
“We’ve just come up against a good team on Tuesday who’ve given us a proper test.
“Wimbledon have matched us and I think it was a fair result in the end.
“We really pushed for the win towards the end and really had them on the back foot, but they had their spell at the start of the second half so it’s probably a fair result.”
Byrom feels the size and quality of the Cobblers squad will ensure they stay fresh for the run-in, saying: “I think Saturday-Tuesday games are tough but you’ve just to look at the squad we’ve got and the likes of the players who can come in.
“Jason Taylor, Danny Rose, Lee Martin and Ryan Cresswell were all on the bench on Tuesday, and look at the strength in depth.”
Despite dropping four points in their past two games, leaders Cobblers are still 11 points clear of second-placed Oxford United, and 19 clear of fourth-placed Accrington Stanley with just 12 games of the season remaining.
They are also unbeaten in 12, having lost just once in 21, and Byrom says the players are determined to not let anything slip.
“We kept the winning run going at first, then we got a point at the weekend and now we’ve got to try and stay unbeaten,” said the former Preston North End man.
“The manager has used the squad well throughout the previuous seven games. People have come in and out of the team and that’s kept it fresh and kept us going.
“You’ve got to look at Tuesday as a good point especially with the results elsewhere.
“We’re still unbeaten, we’ve kept that run going so we’ve got to take it into Saturday.
“We’re in a good position but as we’ve said all season, we’re just looking towards Saturday now and take care of that.
“We’ll come in Thursday and work on what we’re going to do when we go up to Carlisle.”