Austin: Walsall will be '˜playing a dangerous game' if they target a draw against Cobblers
Boss Dean Austin has warned Walsall they will be '˜playing a dangerous game' if they set their stall out for a draw when they take on the Cobblers on Saturday.
The Saddlers are currently two places and two points above 22nd-placed Town in the Sky Bet League One table, and a win for the Cobblers would see them leapfrog their rivals this weekend.
Walsall’s trump card is they do have a game in hand, and that is due to be played at Bradford City next Tuesday, so boss Dean Keates will be treating this weekend’s encounter as ‘must not lose’.
The Cobblers go into it knowing they have to win, so could that be an advantage?
“We have spoken as staff, as to what Walsall might be thinking or what they might choose to do,” said Austin, who has streered Town to wins in their past two matches against Bury and Plymouth.
“But I think for anybody that goes out thinking ‘let’s not get beat’, it is a very, very dangerous game to play.
“Walsall have got to get another win on the board, maybe two wins, and their games after playing us are not the easiest, as they are at Bradford and at Scunthorpe.
“They may come with an attitude to perhaps not over-excel themselves in the attacking sense, so as to not get beat and keep us behind them, but I think it’s a dangerous game.
“I don’t really know if the players at this level are really good enough to be able to do that.”
With two games of the season remaining, Town have a genuine chance of staying up, and Austin reiterated his belief from last weekend, that his team are on the prowl.
“I am a passionate guy, I get emotional, and I was so proud of the boys on Saturday they brought that out of me,” he said.
“But listen, we are hunting. We have to go and hunt teams down, because we are in that position where we have to win games to get ourselves out of this position we are in.
“We have been a wounded animal for quite a while, but we are getting better and we are edging our way forward step by step. And when the work ethic is where it is at, it will always give you a chance to win games of football.”