Richards: It’s time to stop playing blame game

Marc Richards
Marc Richards

Marc Richards feels the Cobblers need to stop blaming injuries for their poor performances and says they will adopt a ‘nothing to lose’ strategy in December.

Town are 15th in Sky Bet League Two, a league placing which Richards describes as ‘not pretty’ and an underachievement for a large and experienced squad.

Northampton play host to Plymouth Argyle at Sixfields on Saturday then travel to Carlisle United on December 20 before a festive schedule which includes two games in three days, although there is no New Year’s Day game this season.

Experienced players such as Zander Diamond and Ryan Cresswell have returned to fitness while Richards himself has fully recovered from a hamstring injury which kept him out for five weeks.

“Our inconsistency has been there for everyone to see and you can’t just keep blaming it on the injuries,” he said.

“We’ve got a big enough and a good enough squad to do better than we have done.

“We’ve got to go into the Christmas spell with nothing to lose.

“We’re 15th at the moment and it’s not a pretty position to be in for a club like this and for the squad that we’ve got.

“We should be doing a lot better and hopefully over Christmas we can get a good run of results together.”

The Cobblers play Bury at Sixfields on Boxing Day before travelling to Tranmere Rovers two days later in a period which is traditionally seen as an ideal opportunity for rapid progress.

Richards scored in the win over Stevenage the last time Northampton played at home and is confident he can recapture the form which saw him notch seven times in five games in the early stages of the season.

“There are a lot of games over Christmas so it would be nice to get up and running on the scoring front again,” he said.

“There are lots of opportunities to get goals and to get the team moving up the table again.

“I had a similar scoring run in my first spell at this club, which started with the four at Macclesfield, and I’ve had a couple of good streaks.

“Strikers have periods like that; you might get a month when you score a lot and then a month when you can’t hit a barn door.

“I’d be worried if I wasn’t getting on the end of things but I am, so I’m happy.”