Edinburgh desperate for Cobblers to maintain momentum as Port Vale come to town

Boss Justin Edinburgh is desperate for the Cobblers to maintain their momentum when Port Vale come calling at Sixfields on Tuesday night (ko 7.45pm).

Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:07 am
Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh acknowledges the travelling supporters following Saturday's win at AFC Wimbledon

Town claimed their first away win of 2017 and the first win on the road under Edinburgh at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

It was the team’s second win in a row, following on from the previous weekend’s 2-1 win against Chartlon Athletic, and Edinburgh wants his players to maintain their upturn in form.

“I think every game played between now and the end of the season is going to be vital, for all different kinds of reasons,” said the Cobblers boss, whose side now sit 15th in league one.

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Port Vale striker JJ Hooper struggled for form and goals while on loan at the Cobblers in the first half of the season

“For your opponents and what it means to them, and to us, and Tuesday night is our next challenge.

“We are at home, we want to make sure we put on a performance and win the points, and continue our good form at home and continue our momentum.

“We have the opportunity to claim three successive victories, which has to be our aim, and we have to keep building and finding answers to the challenges that are put in front of us.

“In the 10 games I have had here now I have seen real progression, and I am pleased.

Port Vale striker JJ Hooper struggled for form and goals while on loan at the Cobblers in the first half of the season

“It is a beginning, it’s a start, and what we to do is try and make sure that continues on Tuesday, but it’s not going to be easy.

“We respect Port Vale, they are fighting for their lives and they have a new manager who is implementing his own ideas, so it is a tough game.

“We need the crowd to get behind us, to be vocal, and together we can get the right result.”

Saturday’s win over Wimbledon saw them move on to 46 points and eight points clear of the bottom four, but they are not safe yet.

Tuesday’s opponents Vale currently occupy the final relegation place in 21st, and although they are eight points behind Town they do have three games in hand, so it is crucial Town see them off and make that gap 11 points.

A Vale win would see them move to within five points of the Cobblers with those extra games to play, and they will arrive in Northampton boosted by their first win of the year, and with a striker with something of a point to prove at Sixfields.

JJ Hooper has had two spells with Town, neither of which were very successful, with his time at Sixfields on loan earlier this season cut short by a thigh injury.

But he has found a bit of form at Vale Park, scored twice in their win over Swindon Town on Saturday, and Edinburgh is aware of the threat he possesses.

“He was here before my time,” said Edinburgh. “He was a loan player, he wasn’t somebody that was signed to Northampton, but the boys will know better than me and have an insight into what he is about.

“We know he is a danger, we know he can score goals, and we are fully aware of him but I think Port Vale have some good players in their team.

“They have Sam Foley back now who is a very, very good midfield player at this level.

“He scores goals and creates, and he is just coming back from injury so he is one we will have to be mindful of.

“They will be buoyed by their victory against Swindon and will be a difficult opponent, as everybody is at this time of the season. It is a relentless time of the season, but one we look forward to.”