Knill: Newcastle experience should inspire Cobblers players

Alan Knill believes the Cobblers players can take inspiration from their midweek trip to Newcastle on Tuesday
Alan Knill believes the Cobblers players can take inspiration from their midweek trip to Newcastle on Tuesday

Assistant boss Alan Knill is hoping the midweek trip to Newcastle United can act as an inspiration to the Cobblers squad.

Town were beaten 4-1 at St James’ Park in the Capital One Cup second round clash, but gave a good account of themselves against a strong Premier League side.

Knill believes the whole occasion was a positive one for the Cobblers regardless of the result, and the players getting a taste of the ‘different world’ of the top flight of English football can only be good for them.

He wants the Town players to aspire to reach that level themselves, just as former team-mate Ivan Toney has done.

“The players all enjoyed the experience of going to Newcastle, and playing in front of unbelievable crowd of 26,000,” said Knill.

“It was a good night for us, and we tell the young players in the squad ‘this is where you want to be’.

“I think that’s why the competition is so important, not only financially, but for the players themselves to go to these clubs, because it does seem like a different world.

“You walk in and everything is unbelievable, you see their players turn up and they have a private car park, and people driving their cars for them, and it is a different world.

“But we all know that we have a player (Toney) there, that was here at Northampton and is all of a sudden at a Premier League club.

“It happens, and you have to hope that the younger players take that on, and do everything they can to maximise what they have.

“Then you never know, you can end up there.”

Town were 2-0 down inside the opening six minutes against Newcastle and staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat, but they recovered well, and Knill believes that will stand them in good stead for the season ahead, and Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Accrington Stanley.

“We really enjoyed it at Newcastle, although I have to say the first six minutes were a little worrying,” said Knill.

“But we got the goal back and I thought we were quite competitive in the first half.

“You could always see they had a bit of extra class about them, but I thought we gave a good account of ourselves.

“The players were all positive about the performance, and I think that is the most important thing.

“After the performance against Plymouth, we had to go there and give a performance ourselves, because we were disappointed after Saturday, and I think we did that.

“We spoke to the Newcastle management team afterwards, and they were complimentary about the way we played, and the way we went about our work.”