Austin challenges Cobblers to end disappointing campaign on a Sixfields high
Dean Austin says the Cobblers owe it to themselves and to their supporters to end the season on a high with a win over Oldham Athletic at Sixfields on Saturday.
Town are on the brink of relegation following last weekend’s defeat at Walsall, with a highly unlikely 9-0 win over the Latics needed to save them, but Austin does not want anybody around the club feeling sorry for themselves.
The caretaker boss has been a breath of fresh air since taking over from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and although he is deeply disappointed he couldn’t help engineer a great escape, he is already looking forwards.
“It’s not an easy situation, and I gave the players an extra day off, as I felt that was the right thing to do in terms of them getting their heads together,” said Austin, who has won two and lost two of his four games in charge.
“I go through phases in times of distress, and this is one of those distressing times.
“You have an angry phase because of the position we find ourselves in, then you have an emotional stage where you have 101 different emotions going in your head, and you are trying to work out how it has gone wrong.
“Then I have the phase where I come out fighting.
“I recover pretty quickly, and I want to come out swinging, and that is what I have spoken to the players about.
“We owe ourselves and we owe our fans.”
Oldham need a win to guarantee their own Sky Bet League One survival, are set to be backed by up to 1,500 supporters at Sixfields, and Austin is promising them a tough afternoon.
“Nobody will be getting any favours from us, especially Oldham,” said the Town boss.
“I have said to the boys that it is no good sitting here and feeling sorry for ourselves, nobody is going to be feeling sorry for us, and I am never one who has wallowed in self pity.
“I am recovered from the weekend and I am ready to go, and I have told the players they need to be ready to go as well.
“I have said to them ‘if you’re not, then come and tell me’. I have said to them ‘If your head’s not in the right state, or you don’t want to play for any reason, come and knock on my door and I won’t play you’.
“I will play players that want to play for this football club.
“That was my message, and to be fair the boys trained brilliantly, exactly the same as they have been for the past three or four weeks, they were first class.
“There was no complaints, nobody has come to see me and I didn’t expect them to.
“I just wanted to get them out of their state of perhaps feeling a bit low in themselves, or feeling sorry for themselves.”
The Cobblers’ only injury concern is Matt Crooks’ ongoing hamstring issue, and he could be set to name the same starting line-up for the third game in a row.
There is a chance that youth team graduates Morgan Roberts and Sean Whaler could feature on the bench, and if they do the teenagers will be hoping they will get a taste of the action.