Midfielder Kasim says Cobblers '˜must be calmer' to keep improving
Yaser Kasim has offered one piece of simple advice to his Cobblers team-mates if they want to improve in search of their first points this season: keep calm and carry on.
The bare facts do not make for pleasant reading so far - two defeats, no goals scored and one red card - but if the plan is to make steady progress game-by-game, Tuesday was a good place to start.
As one of four changes to the team that suffered so tamely at the hands of Shrewsbury Town three days earlier, Kasim’s calming influence in midfield helped the Cobblers produce a better performance in their Carabao Cup tie at Queens Park Rangers.
His ability on the ball, as well as his blossoming partnership with Matt Crooks, was a feature of the night and though Town were eventually edged out by a solitary goal, there were reasons to be encouraged.
Perhaps if Leon Barnett hadn’t seen red on 54 minutes, they may have even caused an upset.
“I think if we had 11 men we would have gone on and get a result,” said Kasim.
“We got on the ball quite well and we had a decent shape to us and that’s something we can build on.
“In general it was a good performance but we need to be a little bit calmer because those incidents (red card) won’t happen if we’re calm.
“Hopefully we’ll work on that and the players need to click and have confidence in each other so you don’t need to say a sentence to one another to get the required action - you can just say a word.
“That takes games and pressurised games so we’ll just keep grinding.”
As Kasim suggests, it would only be natural if Cobblers’ revitalised squad requires time to click.
“It depends how the personalities mix,” added the Iraq international, who signed for the club last month.
“They’re a good bunch of lads and have welcomed me very well and slowly my personality is going to come out.
“The more involved I am the more it’ll come out and the more good, calm sequences we’ll have on the pitch, on and off the ball, and that’s the most important thing.
“It’s like a boxer breathing in the ring over 12 rounds. We need to be breathing, we need to be calm and we need to know that if one person is doing an action, I’ll do another action and that’ll click.”
Following Tuesday’s exit, attention now turns back to the league and Saturday’s visit of Fleetwood Town when the Cobblers will be desperate to open their account for 2017/18.
Kasim continued: “Any team in this league is going to be tough.
“They have a lot of players who work hard and we’ve got to match that and also be smart.
“We’ll dissect what happened in Tuesday’s game, see what we can do better and what we did well.
“We’ll then do our thing on the training pitch and get on to Saturday.”