Northampton Town: Boothroyd ‘Carlisle’s focused on Cobblers’

Cobblers V AFC Wimbledon, football action. 'Clarke Carlisle.
Cobblers V AFC Wimbledon, football action. 'Clarke Carlisle.

AIDY BOOTHROYD has no concerns skipper Clarke Carlisle’s commitments outside of the Cobblers are hindering his performances on the field.

Carlisle met prime minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday as part of a Professional Footballers’ Association delegation that discussed the various race and homophobia-related issues currently plaguing the sport.

Then, on Thursday night, he was on pundit duties for ITV for the Europa League tie between Athletico Bilbao and Lokomotiv Sofia.

Carlisle has undertaken a similar role at Sky Sports in the past and has also been on the Match of the Day sofa, as well as appearing on Countdown and Question Time.

But Boothroyd accepts these diary dates for a player who has brought much-needed experience and leadership to his defence, and has no problem with said player being in the public eye.

“Clarke Carlisle is the chairman of the PFA and he is a guy that is well respected throughout the game,” said Boothroyd.

“With a position of authority comes responsibility and his opinions are wanted by those at the very top. I think that is a big credit to Clarke and to us.

“I think if you get invited to Downing Street I don’t think you could turn it down.

“He is under no illusions, he’s not daft and he knows he’s not going to become a media and television personality, he’s a professional footballer.

“He is that first and foremost and first and foremost for him is Northampton Town.

“As well as all that he’s a father of two as well so he’s got a lot going on.”

Boothroyd will have his work cut out today if his team are to build on their victories over AFC Wimbledon and Macclesfield and make it three wins on the spin today.

Port Vale have their sights set on the play-offs and have won three of their past four; they will provide a far different challenge to the out-of-sorts opposition who have visited Sixfields in the past week.

Boothroyd knows this, and says there is no danger he or his players will get carried away with their recent mini-revival.

“Our objective this season is to make sure that we stay up and that we end the season with everyone a bit more relaxed than they would have been prior to December,” he said.

“We’ve been saying for a little while that we are getting better but until you actually start putting a run of results together that doesn’t really mean anything.

“I won’t be getting too excited and carried away with the fact that we’ve won a couple of games, we are pleased with what we’ve done and we want to build on it but we certainly know that we can get an awful lot better both in terms of performance and results.”

Town could keep the same line-up for the second game running with the week’s training turning up no new injury concerns.

The past seven days have been more about recovery than any serious exertion, which means the manager is likely to go for the same again when the Valiants come to town.

“Everybody is okay,” confirmed Boothroyd.

“The players were in on Wednesday warming down, they had a breather on Thursday but we trained hard again yesterday.

“A lot of it this week has been about recovery and making sure that we are ready for Port Vale.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in March and it’s important to get that balance right.

“This week has also been about a little bit of reflection, we’ve spoken about what we can do better and we will just keep working on things to try to improve.”