Return to Barrow only adds fuel to Brady’s fire

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Whatever happens at Barrow on Saturday, the Cobblers can surely be left with no worse feeling than at the end of their last visit to Holker Street.

The ironic thing is that Town actually won when they made the four-hour trek to Cumbria last May, and impressively so thanks to Sam Hoskins’ double and a header from Fraser Horsfall.

And yet fans and players were left crestfallen come the full-time whistle as Cobblers were denied automatic promotion in the most galling and unfortunate of circumstances.

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Saturday is their first trip back since that fateful day but for manager Jon Brady, motivation, rather than regret, is the overriding emotion.

Cobblers were left crestfallen after being denied promotion on the final day of last season.Cobblers were left crestfallen after being denied promotion on the final day of last season.
Cobblers were left crestfallen after being denied promotion on the final day of last season.

"To be honest, when you mention Barrow, it's only a fleeting thought in my head of what happened that day,” he said. “Mostly it was about how well we actually played.

"There was obviously a lot of disappointment that we didn't get across the line and that we missed out on promotion by one goal, but that's history now and there's nothing we can do about it.

"What happened on that day is fuel to certainly drive myself on and make sure we do our best and do everything we can to continue to be in the top three and get automatic promotion this season.

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"If it's not that, then it's the play-offs and if we're outside of that that, it is what it is, but we are working so hard to try and be in that top three, but there's no divine right to be where we are.

"We have been in the top three for the majority of the season and there's certainly a scar from last season but the scar is more motivational than any disappointment because it's gone, we have moved on and we have shown we have moved on by the way we started this season.”

Cobblers have the same coaching staff and many of the same players who started at Barrow last May, but that’s not the case for their rejuvenated opponents.

In contrast to their close shave with relegation last season, the Bluebirds are resurgent under new boss Pete Wild, who was appointed last summer, and go into the weekend just six points behind the Cobblers.

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A win for the hosts would bunch up an already congested promotion race even further.

"They are a different Barrow team and the manager has done really well there,” Brady added.

"He has galvanised the club and there’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm within their team and they have pace and power.

"It was a good game at Sixfields back in September and I’m expecting another real tough challenge up there this weekend.

"It’s a tough place to go.”