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More thoughts from the caretaker manager after the draw with Rochdale

24 February 2021

Northampton Town caretaker manager Jon Brady says the squad have taken big steps forward over the last fortnight, but they understand they need to be more clinical to achieve the results their performances have deserved.

"We have made a lot of progress over the last two weeks," he said.

"We know we need to score more goals and be more clinical and we are working very hard on that, but so many areas of our game have improved.

"We move the ball better, we pass the ball better, we are more creative and we look a bigger goal threat consistently now.

"These boys are giving their all for the club, that's what we demand and that's what they are giving us. We need a win and when it comes it will give everyone a huge confidence lift. The table is so very tight, one win changes the picture very quickly."

The statistics from recent games show the Cobblers have had more shots on target than their opponents, totalling 51 shots at goal across the last four games with 33 attempts from the opposition.

"I think supporters have seen the way we are trying to play. The Rochdale game was difficult, they have tightened up a lot lately, they have now kept three clean sheets in a row and last night you could see why. They closed off spaces and made life difficult for us but even so we created enough chances to have won the game. Even against the wind we created the better chances of the second half and we could easily have won the game.

"We have had the better of the chances in each of the last four games so that shows we are not very far away at all. I feel we have looked much more comfortable in possession, we have looked far more creative and there is a lot to be pleased about and encouraged by - but we know we need to add the goals our play has deserved.

"We are playing a lot of games at the moment and it is important we adjust the training to try and keep the players fresh in both body and mind at the top end of the pitch. That means we will monitor things closely and make changes when we think players need a rest. For example, Danny Rose has emptied the tank for us in recent games and on Tuesday I felt Ryan Edmondson came in and looked fresh and caused Rochdale a lot of problems with his energy and movement. Sam Hoskins looked so much fresher for even just a 45 minute rest on Tuesday. He responded fantastically, he came on and created two good chances within a few minutes at the start of the second half and that is what we are looking for.

"We made a brave decision with Mickel Miller. Our medical staff felt 45 minutes was his limit on Tuesday and the big risk period for him would have been starting again in the second half. That's why we took him off, it was part of his recovery plan, he came through fine and he will be fresher and stronger for it. It is that freshness we need in our forward players. I would much rather they gave their all and emptied the tank and then rested than pace themselves.

"I am really pleased with our progress, we know we need to add more goals and be more clinical but if the players keep working as hard as they have, that will come."

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