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The Opposite View

The Opposite View

After a disappointing - to say the least - performance in the first 45 minutes, 'Pool deservedly went into the break a goal down.

The Northampton gaffer put the second half performance from his side down to injuries

'We were very comfortable at half time and all credit to us for that. We then had a couple of set backs that knocked the stuffing out of us and that was disappointing. We did not adjust or react to the danger when Brett Johnson was off injured. Players did not fill in and that was disappointing. We were trying to get messages on to the pitch but no one reacted. I would never question the character of the team and we dominated for just over a half of the game but we did not recover from the set backs at the start of the second half.'

The set-backs for Northampton coincided with the introduction of Man Of The Match Winner, Chris Brandon, by 'Pool boss Simon Grayson. The right winger replaced the disappointing Adrian Forbes. In between two Brandon goals, skipper Michael Jackson won a penalty when his header from Wes Hoolahan's corner rebounded off a Cobblers' arm.

'I could not see what the penalty was given for. I ask my defenders to be touch tight and if the ball is flicked onto him from that range what can he do? Is that deliberate? I am not sure anyone has reactions that quick to deal with that happening.'

In any case, the penalty was given and Hoolahan blasted the ball over the diving Bunn in the Cobblers goal.

'We lost Brett Johnson to injury and then Jason Crowe went off with a hamstring injury. Andy Holt has been suffering from a virus. He thought he would be fine but had a re-lapse in the warm up so Brett came in but he got injured. We don't how serious any of those injuries are just yet.'

Once again the manager refers to his side's terrible luck with injuries, with three suffered in this one game alone!

'We had a long chat in the dressing room after the game. There is an air of negativity around where some people are happy to just have avoided relegation. I have bigger ambitions than that and if we can do it against Scunthorpe we can do it against everyone else. People are talking about being safe - I want to get up the league.'

With his side being mathematically safe from relegation, it is understandable for him to be aiming to climb the league ladder. That seems to be a point that he needs to drum into his players before their next game so that complacency doesn't set in - after all, they beat promoted Scunthorpe United on Easter Monday!

'It is unusual for us to concede four goals but if we defend like we did today it will happen again.'

That would be a very valid point, however in the first half his side did very well to keep out the 'Pool line of attack, with a very limited amount of chances falling on the Tangerine side of things. The second half they seemed to crumble and part of that was down to Chris Brandon's pace and skill against the full back - a master stroke as Adrian Forbes before he was substituted was playing almost as a wing back!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday April 16 2007
Time: 4:42PM


Anybody think that there are certain similar comments here that could have been said by our gaffer last season... On top, doing ok and then playing the part of a jigsaw under pressure.. Thank god we are made of sterner stuff now.
16/04/2007 20:01:00
Always thought Stuart Gray was an astute manager. Would not be surprised to see the Cobblers doing well under him next season.
17/04/2007 18:05:00
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