Jon Brady explains his thinking behind 'mad' but successful team selection against Derby County

‘I think a lot of people probably thought I was absolutely mad when they saw the team before the game.’
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Jon Brady was probably the only person in the ground who would have selected the team that he did against Derby County at Sixfields on Saturday, but his ‘mad’ decisions were vindicated by one of Cobblers’ best performances of the season.

There was nothing too unusual about the team sheets when they initially dropped at 2pm but hardly anyone expected midfielder Jack Sowerby to start in the middle of the back three and centre-back Manny Monthé line up at wing-back.

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However, both players were excellent in a famous 1-0 win as Sam Hoskins’ goal earned Cobblers their first ever victory over Derby, one which takes them up to 53 points and essentially rubber-stamps their League One survival.

Jon BradyJon Brady
Jon Brady

It was made all the more impressive by the fact that captain Jon Guthrie dropped out of the team on the day of the game, meaning some last-minute alterations.

"I woke up this morning and had one player drop out through illness – Max Dyche – and then Jon Guthrie calls me with an ache in his hamstring so we had to shuffle the pack,” explained Brady. "Jack Sowerby, on his birthday, had to play in the middle of the back three because I didn't want to change the game plan that we set out to play with.

"I think a lot of people probably thought I was absolutely mad when they saw the team before the game but tactically we set out to play the way we did. I know how well Jack Sowerby can read the game and we put a lot of goal-kicks on Manny and he got us up the pitch physically and I freed him up and I asked him do that role because he's got the physically and the pace and power.

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"I wanted him to drive one on one when he got the opportunity and put in early crosses and take shots because he has one of the most powerful shots I've ever seen. And it sort of worked!

"It was an incredible strike when he hit the post and I think he got a bit excited with the second one but I'm just pleased for him because he's probably not had the game-time that he wanted.

"All of the players, to a man, were immense.”