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2 May 2013

Cobblers boss on the play-off semi-final first leg

Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd previews the play-off semi-final first leg against Cheltenham Town.

“It is a special game but we just want to focus and do the football side of it right,” he said.

“We’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible this week because I think if you get involved with all the furore that goes along with the play-offs then it can become more of a hindrance than a help.

“It’s very important that we prepare properly but we don’t get involved in all the hype.

“We’ve got a group of players here who are willing to work really hard for each other which is a good start but on top of that and more important than that I think we have got a nice balance.

“We’ve got a good mixture of players in our squad and if we perform, and that is going to be the key thing over the two games, then we think we have got a good chance.

“its cup football and what’s important is that we win. It’s about thinking correctly under pressure, doing things right and drawing on all those experiences that we have got in the dressing room.

“We are really looking forward to it, we don’t fear it and we’re enjoying the fact that we are much better than we were last year.

“The play-offs are a fantastic thing for football, it keeps the season alive and whoever came up with the idea I hope they own the copyright.

“It is high pressure and it is very tense but it’s an amazing feeling at the end of it if you can get promoted. On the other hand it can also be a real sickener if you don’t, I’ve experienced both and I know which I’d rather.

“We started the season aiming for promotion, play-offs was our minimum requirement and now we’ve got there we need to make sure that we finish it off.

“We are up against a really good team in Cheltenham who were in the play-offs last year and we know it’s going to be difficult.

“Cheltenham are a very strong team and I think it is a huge achievement to get back into the play-offs after what happened to them last year losing in the final.

“They are a different team to last year but they have their weaknesses like all teams do.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Mark Yates and Neil Howarth, they have done a good job there and this is what you want to go up against the best managers.

“It’s going to be very tough but we believe that over two games that we can do it.

“All the experiences that I’ve had, the things that have worked and the things that haven’t worked, have stood me in good stead because I know what it’s like to be in this situation and I know what is required.

“However I dress it up it is going to be two very difficult games but I think we have got the players who are capable of dealing with the situation and who won’t get caught up in the occasion. We are due a little bit of success and I’m very positive about it.

“There is a belief in the squad that this is what we want to do and we want to get out of this division. The prize is massive and it’s something we’ve been working towards here over the last 18 months.

“We’re not in this to make up the numbers, we’re in it to win it as all four teams are and we are going to do everything we can to get through.”


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