Chris Wilder has defended his decision to this week dispense with the services of two of the club’s most popular players.
Former captain and player of the year Kelvin Langmead had his contract terminated and Alex Nicholls’ deal ran out, with the striker agreeing terms with the Cobblers’ weekend opponents, Exeter.
For good measure, Ricky Ravenhill was also ‘paid up’ while fitness coach Craig Smith parted company with the club after two years in charge of the sports science department.
It was no surprise that the day became known as ‘Black Monday’ (details were officially released 24 hours later) around the ground, but Wilder stands by his ‘scorched earth’ policy and while he accepts some supporters will not agree with his decisions, he will continue to make the calls he feels are in the best interests of the club.
“I think you’ve got to take that out of the equation,” he said. “You have to make decisions and you’re looking for heroes or role models when we get a settled side.
“I’ve brought players to this club that are going to take the club forward in my time here. I’ll back my judgement and you do get judged on your signings.
“You have to make decisions on players and we need a turnaround and a change, in terms of the personnel and to freshen things up.
“We’ve done that and we need to build a squad which is going to take us forward in the next two or three years.
“The supporters will look back at the players that have left and have their opinions on them, but as a manager I have to look at the players that are going to take us forward to the next level.”
And he added: “The club moves on. I have to take the emotion out of it and do what’s right for the football club.
“People will have their opinions on players, of course, and I’m sure people have their opinions on the meat pies at the ground and all sorts of other things, formations and transfer targets, whatever.
“The beauty of the game is that everybody has their opinion. It’s more noticeable these days because of social media and the internet.”