Chris Wilder is delighted that the Cobblers’ ‘season is still alive’ as he prepares his team for Saturday’s trip to Sky Bet League Two leaders Burton Albion.
Town travel to the Pirelli Stadium for their penultimate game of the regular season with an outside chance of reaching the play-offs.
Being four points adrift with only six available means that it is highly unlikely the Cobblers will finish in the top seven, but Wilder is delighted that his team is still in there fighting after 44 games.
Following the 2-1 defeat at Stevenage a fortnight ago, Wilder declared Town’s play-off chances were over, but a draw at Oxford United and win over Cheltenham have just about kept them in the frame.
Wilder still realistically believes the play-offs are going to be beyond his team, but he has promised the club’s supporters they will be fighting to the bitter end.
“Our season is still alive, and we wanted to say that going into these last two games,” said the Cobblers boss.
In our last two performances, have we been a team that’s looked like they are on the beach? I don’t think so, and we won’t allow that to happenCobblers boss Chris Wilder
“If it is still alive going into the final game then that is fantastic.”
Burton are already promoted, and a bumper crowd is expected to turn out as they have a chance of clinching the league two title with a win over the Cobblers, but Wilder is determined to ensure that won’t happen.
“We have to win,” he said. “I am honest in my assessment after games, and after Stevenage did I think we were out of the play-offs? Yes, of course I did.
“But in our last two performances, have we been a team that’s looked like they are on the beach? I don’t think so, and we won’t allow that to happen.
“You never know what will happen, and my opinion has not changed and I don’t know if that takes the pressure of my players or not.
“What was said after Stevenage might be quite a bit of clever management!
“But I’m not into playing mind games and spinning things, and my view hasn’t really changed.
“In the last minute at Oxford, when Evan Horwood has headed that ball back (that led to Oxford’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw), does anybody think I am thinking ‘oh it doesn’t really matter’. Of course it matters
“It did matter, and anybody who was in that changing room after the game knows it matters.
“Our attitude hasn’t changed in the past two games, and we haven’t taken our foot off the gas.
“I thought we did well at Oxford and carried it on on Saturday (against Cheltenham), so you have seen that consistent attitude, that consistent play, and we are looking forward to Saturday. It is going to be a great occasion.
“Congratulations to everybody at Burton on their promotion, but we want to go there and get a result we know we are capable of.
“It is going to be close to a full house, and both of the games we have remaining there is something on them, for the opposition, and most importantly for us.”