Defender Zakuani says win at Vale can be a springboard for Cobblers
Cobblers defender Gariel Zakuani has stressed the need for his side to keep their foot down and use Saturday's win over Port Vale as a springboard for the busy festive period.
Zakuani was one of the scorers in the 3-2 victory on Saturday, a pressure-relieving result that ends Northampton’s four-game losing streak.
The win at Vale Park also lifted the Cobblers up to 13th in Sky Bet League One, and Zakuani felt there were plenty of positives to take from the game.
“I thought we played well,” he said. “The main thing for us was to get the win because we’ve been on a bad run.
“The fact we’ve managed to get the three points is the important thing. We made it a bit hard for ourselves, but I thought we could have got even more goals.
“The fact we’re creating so many chances is good for us and there’s a chance now to kick-on.”
It was a nervy finish at Vale Park after Rigino Cicilia’s stoppage-time strike brought the hosts to back within one, but the Cobblers just about did enough to take victory, which was thanks to a combination of resilient defending and the tremendous away support, at least according to Zakuani.
He added: “That’s where our spirit shone through a little bit because we had to dig deep and stay in the game.
“We always knew we could catch them on the counter and we had several chances.
“When we went 3-1 up I thought we could relax a bit but they managed to get one and it was back to square one.
“We saw it out and that’s the main thing.
“The fans have been brilliant, even during our bad patch. They’ve stuck with us and when we conceded the goal they were loud and we knew as long as they keep supporting us we’ll get the win.
“When we got the win we wanted to show our appreciation and the manager made sure we went over to them one-by-one to thank them.”
On his goal, a bullet header from Matty Taylor’s pinpoint cross, Zakuani added: “It was a perfect corner. We worked on on that set-piece and I saw the guy marking me and thought if I had a run on him I could get an easy header.
“I found myself free in the box and just needed to make a clean connection and I managed to make good contact and gave the goalkeeper no chance.”
Next up for Northampton is a trip to Stourbridge and the FA Cup second round on Tuesday evening, with Wycombe Wanderers waiting the winners.
“We’ve just got to treat this game like any other game,” stressed Zakuani. “We can’t take our foot off the gas.
“We’ve won Saturday and another win on Tuesday would be great for our confidence.
“Their club want to go as far as they can in the FA Cup and so do we. We’ve just to take it as seriously as we take the league and hopefully, if we’re professional, we should come through.”