No Cobblers changes likely for trip to Mansfield

Lawson D'Ath struggled to have an impact at Hartlepool on Tuesday night in a below-par team performance
Lawson D'Ath struggled to have an impact at Hartlepool on Tuesday night in a below-par team performance

Alan Knill says the Cobblers will stand by their first-choice starting team despite the midweek defeat at Hartlepool.

Town have had a settled starting 11 throughout 2015 so far and the consistency of selection has paid off with five straight wins.

Although several players were below their best in the 1-0 loss at Victoria Park, Knill does not feel it would be wise to deviate from the side which has been in such good form this calendar year and suggested no changes will be made for Saturday’s game at Mansfield Town.

“Why would we change things? I doubt very much we will,” said the assistant manager.

“The team has been playing well and played well in parts on Tuesday night.

“We just couldn’t score, which is unusual for us considering we’re the top scorers in the league, but I don’t think the team will change too much.

“We think we’ve found a formula that is working and a team that is playing well together so I wouldn’t anticipate too many changes.

“It’s football, you lose every now and again and it doesn’t change how you want the game to be played.”

Two players who were noticeably ineffective at Hartlepool were wide attackers Ricky Holmes and Lawson d’Ath.

Both have been key players and have contributed several goals and assists through the five-game winning streak but struggled to make an impact against Pools.

“It was difficult in the first half because they didn’t play too much, they just got it forward and we countered that by getting it forward ourselves,” he said.

“Subsequently, the two wide players were missed out and they didn’t get to show the energy they’ve got because that comes out when they receive the ball.

“We couldn’t get them the ball because it was going back and forth so much so it’s our job to relax and pass it a bit more and to not get caught up in a frenetic game.

“We did on Tuesday night and we were protecting against (Marvin) Morgan rather than getting on the ball.
“I think there were a lot of factors. For the five games the pair of them expelled a lot of energy and that probably did take its toll, but knowing those two they’ll be looking forward to Saturday because I don’t think either enjoyed coming off the pitch at Hartlepool.”