POTTER: WE’RE STILL COBBLING POINTS TOGETHER
AS Northampton Town’s offfield woes pile up, they continue to thrive on the pitch and Alfie Potter doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon.
By his own admission, the decision to join the Cobblers this summer was a straightforward one.
The opportunity to link up once more with Chris Wilder – his old boss at Oxford – was too good to turn down while the club, according to assistant manager Alan Knill, was sold to summer targets as ‘stable’.
That is not a word that could be used to describe Northampton now, following a winding-up petition from HMRC and a £10.25m debt to the local council – and the PFA being forced to step in and pay players’ wages this week.
Meanwhile, Wilder’s charges have lost just one of their last ten league games, with only goal difference keeping them out of League Two’s top three.
“I think there has been a noticeable togetherness between the players, the staff and the fans,” said Potter.
“It would be worse if we weren’t getting the results but the fact that we are performing is keeping everyone positive.
“The players deserve a lot of credit and so does the manager and his staff.
“We have tried to ignore it as much as possible.The manager and his staff have kept us in the know but, as you can see, it is not really affecting our performance and hopefully that continues.
“I have never been in this position before but there are certain players who have.
“The boys are all in it together and things are going well at the moment so I can’t see it having much of an effect right now.
“Nothing has really changed for the players and there is still a good atmosphere around the place. Everyone wants what’s best for the club.”
Wilder and Potter have a productive history together, indeed the former signed the latter at the Kassam Stadium back in 2010.
The tricky midfielder enjoyed a five-year spell at Oxford and after the manager left in 2014, it didn’t take him long to move on either – temporarily to AFC Wimbledon in January and eventually to Sixfields in the summer.
“I had spoken to the gaffer when I first left Oxford in January and I knew there was a bit of interest there,” said Potter. “I spoke to him again in the summer and then my mind was made up.
“He has put a good team together. He had a good core group of players left over from last season and he made some good signings during the summer.
“He knows this level and he knows what is required. We are definitely not a long-ball team but when we need to grind out results, we can.”
A leg injury that turned out to be a haematoma set back Potter’s early progress at Northampton but after netting his first goal for the club last month – a winner against Stevenage just two minutes after coming off the bench – things are moving in the right direction.
And while speculation surrounding the Cobblers’ future continues apace, Potter is focusing not on his delayed pay packet, but on a continued promotion push.
“Things can change so quickly,” he added. “Especially in League Two. You lose a couple of games and you are down in mid-table.
“It happened to us at Oxford – we were flying until Christmas, then the gaffer left and we ended up dropping out of the play-offs, which we didn’t think was mathematically possible.
“The manager is more than happy with the players he has got here so hopefully we can keep going and stay in and around the top.
“If we can get past the Christmas period and we are still in it, that’s when you start thinking about it.”
IN GOOD ALF: Alfie Potter in action against Newcastle