Jon Brady reflects on three years in charge as Cobblers boss hits impressive milestone
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Brady was placed in temporary charge of Northampton on February 10th, 2021, after Keith Curle’s departure, and his first game came three days later when Town were beaten at home to Burton Albion.
The Aussie was not able to keep Cobblers in League One that season but he improved the team sufficiently to earn the job on a full-time basis. Two and a half very successful years have followed, culminating with Town sitting in the top half of the League One table as Brady hit three years on Saturday when his team drew 1-1 against high-flying Bolton Wanderers.
"It’s been three years but it feels like it's gone in a blink of an eye,” said Brady, who is one of only six current EFL managers to have been in charge for at least three years. “Standing here three years ago, we were playing against Burton and there were no crowds in the ground because of COVID.
"The big difference now is that the stadium is full and vibrant and I think the supporters are really enjoying this team. The boys are giving everything they've got and that connection between the staff, the players and the fans is something we've wanted to build from the very start.
"At the time we took over, we were set the task of trying to stay in League One. Well, three years later, we’ve turned it around and we're back in League One, but there's still a lot to do to maintain our status in the division and to keep driving forward. We want to try and keep progressing and that's the most important thing for the football club.”
Town’s progress under Brady could be measured by the way they went toe-to-toe with promotion-chasing Bolton on Saturday, albeit against 10 men for most of the game.
"Put it in perspective, they had 10 men for most of the game so we won't get too high about it,” admitted Brady. "But I thought the way we set up structurally worked really well in the first half and that's down to the players and their attitude.
"Everything is down to the players and their tactical awareness to take on board what we tried to do and the energy and the effort. You would take a point against Bolton all day long and they had some chances and it could have gone either way.”
There were two impressive performance as Dom Gape caught the eye on his Cobblers debut while Kieron Bowie produced an outstanding performance up front.
"Dom was very good,” Brady continued. “It's a really positive start for him and we needed him today so his performance was really important.
"I'm very pleased with Kieron. His development and growth has been excellent and you can see it. Now it's about staying consistent.
"He's adding goals to his game, which is really important for any forward, and if he stays humble, like he is, and keeps working hard, he'll just keep improving and that's important for everyone.”
Brady admitted he was disappointed with the goal that cost his side two points, adding: "Their player is on the front foot but we would normally defend that better. It's frustrating to concede that goal but you're going to concede throughout the season and it's about how you deal with it and how you bounce back and it's all learning.”