McGowan admits not playing has been 'difficult' but he knew he would be needed by Cobblers
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Cobblers vice-captain Aaron McGowan was delighted to return to the team with a win on Saturday after admitting it had been a ‘difficult’ start to the season.
Akin odimayo had been favoured at right-back in all 15 League One games until Saturday’s visit of Burton Albion when McGowan was handed his first league start of the campaign.
Jon Brady was full of praise for the 27-year-old defender, whose performance helped inspired an excellent performance and sorely-needed victory.
"It's nice to hear that from the manager,” said McGowan, who lost his father to a long illness in September. “It's not been an ideal start to the season, people know what's happened, but I've stayed professional and I've trained as hard as I can because I knew I would be needed.
"We are going through a difficult spell and people need to step up and I'm happy to do that and take responsibility and I was pleased to lead the lads against Burton.
"There's the personal stuff, which hasn't been easy, and sometimes you want that distraction but I haven't had it because I've not been playing, but I feel in a good place.
"I've remained professional Monday to Friday, I haven't moaned, I've just got on with it because when you are required to go in and do a job, you need to be ready and I feel like I helped the lads today.”
McGowan was a leader at the back as Cobblers kept their first clean sheet since September, and he received a warm ovation from the Sixfields locals when replaced in stoppage-time.
"It means a lot to get that ovation from the fans,” he added. “I've been through some difficult moments of late and I can only thank the fans for their support and I'm sure the other lads feel the same way as well.
"The fans were right behind us from minute one and I think they love that sort of performance because they can see 14, 15 players really fighting for the shirt and we gave them a lot back today. Hopefully we can use this win to really rally ourselves and go on a good run.”