Mixed feelings for Cobblers boss Page after '˜productive' Wolves exercise
Cobblers boss Rob Page felt there were both positives and negatives to come out of his side's 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in Tuesday's pre-season friendly.
Wolves fielded a young but talented side at Sixfields and they caused problems for Northampton, who found themselves behind on 17 minutes after a goal from the highly-rated Niall Ennis.
But Town grew into the game and a tactical tweak or two helped the home side take control with Harry Beautyman and Marc Richards completing the turnaround.
The victory was Northampton’s second of pre-season and it gives Page plenty to ponder 11 days ahead of their League One opener.
“I thought it was a very productive exercise for us,” said the Cobblers manager afterwards.
“We won’t come up against too many teams who play at that sort of tempo because it was a younger team who play a different way to what we’ll face.
“But it was a different experience for them and one that they’ve learnt from because I thought the tempo was way too slow first-half but we were a different team after half-time and thoroughly deserved the win in the end.
“To do that sometimes you can’t be afraid to play off the front and to play them down the sides and play from within their third.”
Page had no issue with Wolves’ decision to field a young side, adding: “In all fairness I had that conversation with Kenny Jackett and I totally understand so we knew it wasn’t going to be the first-team squad.
“It was a test for us and it’s about what we do and that’s what I’ve said to the lads – irrespective of who we’re playing against, it’s about what we want to do.
“There were aspects of the game that pleased me and there were aspects that need work on.”
One positive was the performance of recent recruit Beautyman who slotted straight in with a promising all-round midfield display which included a well-taken goal to get the Cobblers level just before half-time.
Page added: “With regards to Beautyman, I thought he was the most enthusiastic player on the pitch and that rubs off on the other players.
“He deserved his goal and his energy he brings to the team will have a positive impact.
“I thought it worked well for us to get him playing as a number 10 with his energy and enthusiasm.
“Beauts is good on the ball, you know he’s going to find a pass and he’s got an eye for goal but also defensively you know he’ll put the work in that we’ll need this season when we’re outnumbered in the middle of the park and need help defensively.”