DERBY DAY: Richards '˜knocking on the door' for a start in derby date with Peterborough
Skipper Marc Richards believes he's '˜knocking on the door' to start more often for the Cobblers this season after a frustratingly stop-start few months.
A combination of Alex Revell’s form up front and Richards’ injury problems have kept the Northampton captain on the sidelines for much of the campaign so far.
Richards has only started two league games under Rob Page, whose preferred system has room for only one striker, but after scoring Town’s only goal in Saturday’s defeat to Millwall, the 34-year-old is confident he’s close to starting.
“Like every week I’m hungry to play,” said Richards ahead of Tuesday’s big derby clash at rivals Peterborough United.
“I haven’t played too many minutes this year but my Achilles feels a lot better.
“I’ve not missed a day of training in the last month so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be knocking on the door for a start.
“Ultimately it’s the gaffer’s decision but I like to get out there and give him a headache like I did on Saturday by getting a goal.
“I’m a professional and I’ll be patient. I won’t go banging on doors moaning about not playing, I’ll try to work as hard as I can on the training field.
“Hopefully when it comes to Saturdays and Tuesdays I’ll try to do as best as I can.”
Yet to taste victory in October, Tuesday’s derby clash represents a timely opportunity for Cobblers to get back on the winning trail.
With just one win in their past 10, Posh too have been out-of-sorts in recent weeks and Richards knows consistency is key for Northampton to be successful.
He added: “I don’t think we’re playing badly at the moment but we’ll not playing well on a consistent level.
“The gaffer wants consistency from the lads and that’s a group effort, it’s not down to individuals.
“We’ve come into a new league and there’s been a lot of changes, more than many might have liked, but the gaffer’s brought in some quality players.
“It’s just about finding that bit of form and bit of consistency and not giving away silly goals and going down to 10 men.”
And Richards also knows that Northampton must address their discipline woes to aid their cause having had a player sent off in each of their past three league games.
Jak McCourt was the latest to see red after picking up two yellow cards against Millwall on Saturday, but Richards has backed the young midfielder to learn his lesson.
“The sending offs aren’t helping,” he continued. “We’ve got to be more patient with our player and not so rash with our tackling.
“The referee could have been a bit more lenient with Jak’s first booking and be a bit sensible because it’s the first 10 seconds.
“But in saying that, Jak’s got to be bright enough to realise that he’s on a booking and you can’t go sliding in like he did.
“He’s a young lad and he’ll learn fast from it.”