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Chairman on looking back, and then planning for the future

6 May 2021

Chairman Kelvin Thomas said that while relegation hurts, the club are determined to bounce back as soon as possible, and are looking for a return to League 1.

"We maybe didn't recruit enough League 1 experience," he said when asked for his thoughts on the season.

"We brought some good players with potential in, but we were not good enough at League 1 level this season. It was a quick turnaround after we knew what division we would be in, but we should have done better. We didn't go up as a top 3 side in League 2, we were 7th and 10 points behind the top three and we didn't add enough to that group to be strong enough to stay up.

"I don't think we recruited to the style of play Keith was looking to play, we possibly needed a target man and more strength at the back. In terms of the defenders we had last year, Charlie Goode had a great opportunity and that was an excellent move for him, Scott Wharton was in Blackburn's first team at the start of the season before he got injured and Keith made a decision on Jordan Turnbull but they were three very solid centre backs who moved on and maybe we didn't replace them sufficiently. We made an improvement later with Lloyd Jones and Alan Sheehan and Alan has been unlucky with injuries.

"With the new committee, we are looking at recruitment on a global basis, not just the first team, and that is what we are looking at now. Simon Tracey did an excellent job to help get us out of League 2 but we do tend to struggle when we get to League 1 and we need to address that an we think that will be helped by having a better structure."

Although the Cobblers were relegated, Chief Executive James Whiting said the budget the club had for the 2020/21 season was not a bottom four budget.

"We had a competitive budget in place," he said.

"Despite Covid-19, it was not a bottom four budget so when we didn't achieve in line with that budget we have to look at where we can make positive changes moving forward and that is what we are doing."

Kelvin Thomas added: "We are disappointed and licking our wounds but we have to look forward now because we want to get back up. We have proved we can get out of League 2 before and we have to do it again.

"The manager's position is a big decision we have coming up in the next week or two but the manager will be a big part of the philosophy and will also buy in to what we are looking for.

"It is important we get the positions of manager and Head of Recruitment filled as soon as possible. Jon Brady has been involved in a lot of the discussions already and we are moving those conversations on and within the next week or so we hope we will be ready to make a decision, but we needed to be sure on the structure first. With Simon Tracey leaving us this week, we want to get that Head of Recruitment position filled with the right candidate fairly quickly too."

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