”Relentless and ruthless” Cobblers delight boss Wilder

Chris Wilder gives out the instructions during Saturday's win over Wycombe
Chris Wilder gives out the instructions during Saturday's win over Wycombe

The “relentless and ruthless” nature of Cobblers’ charge towards promotion has delighted boss Chris Wilder who also praised centre-back duo Zander Diamond and Rod McDonald for their part in his side’s new-found defensive resolve.

Northampton continued their record-breaking rampage on Saturday when notching a club record ninth straight league win with a 1-0 triumph over Wycombe Wanderers at Sixfields.

Danny Rose scored the only goal in a deserved victory and although it wasn’t the most convincing of performances, Wilder was effusive in his praise for the way the Cobblers have brushed aside three promotion rivals in the space of a week to move 10 points clear at the top of League Two.

He said: “Whatever opposition is put in front of us, whatever challenge we have to overcome, my team overcome it and to be in this position at this stage of the season is a fantastic achievement.

“Nothing has been won yet but I’m sure quite a few teams below us would like to swap places with us.

“They just keep going, they’re just relentless and ruthless.

“We’re relentless in pursuit of what we want to do and ruthless when we have to do it, whether it’s a block, a last-ditch tackle, players getting back and helping out the back four or the goalkeeper making a save, and then we’re ruthless in both boxes when we have to be.

“We did that again on Saturday and it was a great clean sheet for us.

“Smudge (Adam Smith) made a fantastic save late on and it was a dangerous game and one that we’re really pleased to get three points from.

“It wasn’t a vintage performance or a fast-flowing performance from us but I think we can give the boys some leeway after the efforts they’ve put in all week.”

While Northampton always had the upper-hand against Wycombe, they were not at their fluent best and at times lacked quality in the final third but that didn’t concern Wilder.

The Cobblers boss was happy just to come way with the points although he did feel his side should have had an early penalty when Lee Martin was seemingly felled by Marcus Bean but the referee instead booked the Northampton man for diving.

Wilder added: “I thought it was a penalty but we had a penalty given for us on Tuesday night and we didn’t have one on Saturday and as everybody always says, you get one and then you don’t get one.

“You move on and I thought our reaction was good and I thought we were one pass off scoring because we got into some really good positions but just lacked a little bit of quality and sometimes your quality deserts you.

“I can’t be critical of any of those boys. James Collins has run around like a lunatic, shutting down the right-back down, shutting the left-back down, shutting the centre-backs down.

“I brought Nicky Adams in and he’s been a little bit unfortunate to not play a few more games but it’s a group effort and there are a few tired legs and mentally a few tired minds after the pressure of last Saturday and of Tuesday.

“For them to come through every battle, every type of situation, they deserve a hell of a lot of credit.

“Saturday was about getting the win, getting the record and stretching the lead.”

Rod McDonald was voted man of the match on Saturday after another excellent performance in which he helped Northampton keep a fourth consecutive clean sheet.

“It’s another clean sheet for the boys and I don’t think Adam has had a great deal to do over the past four or five games,” continued Wilder.

“We talked on Tuesday night about having to defend properly against dangerous opposition and Rod and Zander have formed a great partnership.

“They’re keeping two really good players out of the team. We brought Luke Prosser in and his attitude has been absolutely first-class and so as Ryan Cresswell’s because they understand the situation.

“Those boys are playing well and are keeping good players out of the team as other players are at the moment.

“Everyone is important in the group and Rodders has done great in his first season and he can be proud but he has to keep the hammer down like everyone else.”