ANDY HOLT believes the Cobblers will have no trouble avoiding the dreaded drop this season.
Town find themselves very much in the battle to avoid relegation to the non-league wilderness after their four-game unbeaten run came to a crashing halt in the form of a 4-1 savaging at Barnet on Saturday.
That result has left Northampton just two points off rock bottom in npower League Two, and with a tricky fixture at Rotherham to come tomorrow night, things could get worse before they get better.
But Holt is confident they will get better, and feels the unpredictable nature of the division is in his side’s favour.
“Obviously we’re looking over our shoulders and our league position is a massive concern to all of us,” he said.
“But I don’t doubt we have the team to get ourselves out of it.
“We’re still only three points off 13th in the table and it is an incredibly tight league this season.
“If you look at the results at the weekend a lot of teams won games you wouldn’t have expected them to.
“We need to get a good positive result at Rotherham tomorrow night now.”
Liam Davis was sent off on Saturday, becoming the fifth Northampton player in the past nine games to see red, a statistic that Holt feels is down, mainly, to bad decision-making.
From the outside, it would appear the current Cobblers team are a physical side but that is not the case at all – of those five cards, two were for professional fouls, one was for a perceived stamp and another for throwing the ball at an opponent.
Abdul Osman’s dismissal, of course, was overturned.
Whatever the reasons behind this spate of red, though, Holt says the small squad cannot continue to be stretched in the way it is.
“We’re not really a malicious bunch at all,” he said. “Diz (Liam Davis) was a last-man challenge so that’s a straight red and we had another one of them and then Abdul’s so it looks like we’re a nasty team.
“But we’re not, maybe it’s just bad decision-making.
“Two of the cards were just one-match bans and Abdul’s was overturned so there’s more to it than five red cards, which looks ridiculous.
“It’s stretching our squad to the maximum. It’s hard enough when you play with 10 men so we need to sort it out.”
See centre pages