Taylor warns under pressure Oldham to expect a fired-up Cobblers for Saturday's Sixfields showdown
Skipper Ash Taylor has warned Oldham Athletic there is no way the doomed Cobblers will be rolling over for them at Sixfields on Saturday (ko 5.30pm).
The Cobblers were effectively relegated from Sky Bet League One last weekend, following their last-gasp defeat at Walsall.
That result, allied with Oldham’s 0-0 draw against Doncaster, means the Cobblers, thanks to their shocking goal difference, need to beat the Latics 9-0 on the final day of the season to have a chance of avoiding the drop.
And that is not going to happen.
So the match is effectively a dead rubber for Town, but that is not the case for Oldham, who need to beat the Cobblers to guarantee their own survival in league one.
Richie Wellens’ team are currently fifth-from-bottom in league one, a single point clear of fourth-from-bottom Rochdale, who entertain play-off chasing Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
So there is still a lot riding on the match, and Taylor has reassured fans of Rochdale and the Cobblers he and his team-mates will be 100 per cent professional.
Being on the brink of relegation has been tough to take for everybody, but Taylor says caretaker boss Dean Austin has rallied the troops.
“Dean is demanding smiles,” said Taylor.
“It is what he is about, and he doesn’t like people sulking about the place as it will bring negativity.”
And looking ahead to Saturday, the former Aberdeen man added: “We still have a job to do, there is pride to play for, and we want to finish the season as well as we can.
“There is disappointment, but we still have a job to do as teams are relying on us to put on a performance, and the fans don’t want to see their team roll over on the last day.
“I am not one of those players who will sit there and take a beating on the last day because there is not a lot to play for.
“I know we need a miracle to win 9-0, but stranger things have happened in football, and we have to be positive and go into the game fully focused on finishing the season strongly ahead of next season.”
Looking back on last weekend’s loss at Walsall, Taylor said: “It was very disappointing, and there is no hiding the fact that we haven’t been good enough over the course of the season.
“It would have been nice to go into the last game with something to hold on to, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“We had numerous chances, Powelly hit the post early on, and I am sure if that goes in then we go on to win the game comfortably.
“The ball just wouldn’t go in the back of the net for us, and then it has unfortunately left us in the situation we are in now.”
As well as the team ending the campaign on a winning note, Taylor will also want to complete what has been a strong season for him on a personal level, on a high.
Saturday will be Taylor’s 52nd start of the season, with the only game he missed all season being the trip to Blackpool, when he was suspended.
The former Aberdeen man has been one of the Cobblers’ most consistent performers in what has been a pretty dismal campaign, and he says that was his intention when he signed for the club last summer.
The team’s struggles were certainly not something he expected, but Taylor has been satisfied with his own form.
“For me it was all about being consistent, as I am coming up to an age where I am a bit more mature, and experienced in terms of games,” he said.
“I wanted to be solid and consistent, and put in some solid performances week in, week out.
“That is what I came here to do, but unfortunately we have not managed to put it all over park and put in solid performances week in, week out, as a team, which is disappointing.
“But for me it was just about being consistent.”