Calderwood admits 'relief' at timely break between fixtures for Cobblers

Grecians play twice whilst Cobblers enjoy rare time off

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:52 pm
Jon Brady and Colin Calderwood.

Assistant boss Colin Calderwood says only time will tell if the current 10-day break from action the Cobblers are enjoying will prove to be of any benefit.

Town were without a midweek match following Saturday's 1-0 win over Leyton Orient, and don't have a fixture this weekend as they are out of the FA Cup.

It means they will have had a clear 10 days without competitive football before taking to the field at Exeter City on Tuesday night.

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On the face of it that looks like a good thing for the Cobblers, especially as the Grecians played their rescheduled FA Cup first round replay on Tuesday, and now have the prospect of a lengthy trip to Cambridge United in the second round on Saturday afternoon.

Calderwood does admit it feels like the break has come at a good time for a squad that is beginning to look a little stretched, but that the proof of that will be in the pudding.

"It feels like a bit of a relief that we didn't have a Papa John's Trophy game, and then we maybe don't have a league game," said the Scotsman.

"But if we don't win the next one then we will say we might have liked to have kept going and a run of games might have helped.

"You can design it any way you want, but we knew we were going to have this break so we try to do the best thing in the circumstances.

"I don't think there is any great benefit in it, I don't think there is any hindrance in us having this little break.

"We can refresh a little bit, but we have to be absolutely spot on when we return."

As we enter December, talk inevitably turns to the 'hectic festive period' that football clubs face over Christmas and New Year, and in the past it certainly has been a slog at times.

But Calderwood feels the way the fixtures fall this year is pretty kind, and that there will be no extra strain on the Town players.

The Cobblers are at home to Barrow on December 18, and then host Walsall on Boxing Day (Dec 26).

They then play on Wednesday, December 29 at Scunthorpe United before travelling to Swindon Town on New Year's Day.

They then don't play again until they entertain Crawley Town on Saturday, January 8.

"Everybody mentions a busy Christmas period, but it's not," he said.

"It is entirely normal, Saturday-Tuesday and then the weekend, and it's not like years gone by when games were crammed into two or three days.

"There is space between games for us this year, so we treat it as a normal three-game week."