Striker Rose believes imperfect pitch can be an advantage for the Cobblers

Gillingham boss Steve Evans branded the playing surface at the PTS Academy Stadium as one ‘not befitting’ a Football League match.
Danny Rose in action for the Cobblers against Gillingham on TuesdayDanny Rose in action for the Cobblers against Gillingham on Tuesday
Danny Rose in action for the Cobblers against Gillingham on Tuesday

And Cobblers striker Danny Rose believes that is something that could give him and his team-mates an little bit of an edge over their rivals in Sky Bet League One for the rest of the season.

Town certainly had no problems getting to grips with what is a tricky surface, helped by the fact they train on it week in, week out.

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They were worthy winners over Evans’s mid-table Gillingham side though, who created next to nothing in 90 minutes on Tuesday.

Next in town are promotion hopefuls Sunderland on Saturday afternoon (3pm), and Rose feels what is clearly an imperfect surface at the PTS could play a part.

“The win (over Gillingham) was important, because we need to make this ground a bit of a fortress,” said the former Mansfield Town man.

“We know the pitch is not in the best condition, and we need to use that to our advantage and get the ball forward as quickly as possible.

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“I thought that is what we did on Tuesday and to a man we were really good.”

Rose and his team-mates turned in an excellent performance to see off the Gills as they moved out of the relegation zone.

They attacked with pace, purpose and belief, and defended superbly to call a halt to a run of four straight defeats in league one.

But it can’t just be a one-off, and although he accepts it will be a big ask, Rose knows the Cobblers have to follow it up against the Black Cats.

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Lee Johnson’s side may travel south a little under-prepared as they haven’t played since mid-December due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the club, but Rose knows they will still carry a big threat.

“It is a big challenge on Saturday, and this is a tough league, we know that after the lads got promotion last season,” said Rose.

“Sunderland are one of the big clubs in this league and are a strong side, so we know it is going to be important to go out there and give our all and hopefully get the three points.”

Rose netted his fourth goal for the Cobblers in the win over the Gills, so has he set himself any targets for the campaign, which is now approaching the halfway mark.

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“I just want to get as many goals as I can,” said the 27-year-old. “We know the aim this season and whoever scores the goals it doesn’t really matter.

“We came up with three goals on Tuesday night, and if we win 1-0 in the next game then it really doesn’t matter who scores it.

“If I could maybe get to double figures that would be nice, but we will see what happens.”