Chairman Thomas confident Cobblers on course to secure league one safety

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

Chairman Kelvin Thomas is confident the Cobblers are still on course for Sky Bet League One survival, despite the frustration of last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Rochdale.

That Dale reverse brought an abrupt halt to Town’s unbeaten four-match run, but Thomas believes the club’s transfer window recruitment and excellent run of results in January has left them in a decent position ahead of the final third of the campaign.

Thomas was as disappointed as anybody at last Saturday’s defeat, but he accepts there are going to be a downs as well as ups as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men try to drag the club away from the bottom four.

But he also knows that the January wins over Southend United, Bradford City and Milton Keynes Dons have set the team well on their way to their safety target, and they now have to try and get back on another positive run, starting at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

“I said before the weekend that I always thought the Rochdale game was going to be a tough one,” said Thomas, who was at Sixfields to watch the game.

“I think they are a better side than their league position, and they have quite a few games in hand.

When you get yourselves into a situation we got ourselves into, you have a points target and you work towards that. It doesn’t necessarily matter where you pick those points up, as long as you do

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

“We had been on such a good run, there was a lot of excitement created, and it is just such a frustration in football sometimes.

“You build everything up, and it’s really good and everybody has a really good feeling, and your performances then aren’t exactly where you want them to be.

“But we know that, and I always look at points and not necessarily games.

“You look at how many points you end up with at the end of the season, and when you get yourselves into a situation we got ourselves into, you have a points target and you work towards that.

“It doesn’t necessarily matter where you pick those points up, as long as you do.

“When you don’t get any points you still have that same target.”

The Cobblers are fifth-bottom in league one, a point above the relegation zone, but it was only a matter of weeks ago they were in the bottom four and five points adrift of safety, so on the whole it has been an encouraging start to 2018.

And Thomas said: “We had a good January, we introduced a few new players and it changed our performances and changed our results, and that is the key.

“We had some great results in January, and we are not going to carry that on to the end of the season, we are not going to win the next 15 games, although hopefully we do, but those runs don’t come around very often.

“It is now about picking up the right amount of points to ensure we see ourselves safe and are a league one club next season.”

As well as frustration at the team’s result last weekend, Thomas also continues to be disappointed by the lack of progress off the pitch at Sixfields and the lack of Northampton Borough Council movement on the east stand redevelopment.

The chairman says the Cobblers have now done all they can to get things moving again with regards to getting work started again, but says the council are still going through their processes before giving the development the green light.

Asked about the latest on the east stand, Thomas said: “We are still waiting for the council. We have turned everything around, and our lawyers have turned everything out we need to.

“We have heard there is a report being written (by the council) and it’s going to go to cabinet, although I am not sure exactly when that is.

“We are just waiting on confirmation and we are ready to go.”

It’s a situation is far from ideal, and Thomas admits he just hopes the council are close to finalising things at their end.

“I have been asked the question twice today (about the east stand development) on social media, I get asked the question all the time, and my standard response now is we have to wait for the council,or ask the council the question, because we are waiting,” said the Town chairman.

“Am, I disappointed? I think in my last update I said I was hoping for something before Christmas, and realistically I was.

“Now we are sneaking into February and it continues.

“I am sure they are working on it as hard as the can, hopefully they are, and we just need to get that confrimation.

“Once we get that, then we are in a good place.”