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UPBEAT Northampton Town manager Justin Edinburgh believes his new-look squad can achieve a top-half finish this season.
The Cobblers romped to the League Two title under Chris Wilder in 2015-16, but then lost their boss to Sheffield United.
Ex-Port Vale manager Rob Page took the reins at the start of last season but was sacked in January after a slump in form saw Northampton slide to 16th in the table.
Former Tottenham defender Edinburgh, who had recently been axed by Gillingham, took over in the hotseat and stabilised the Cobblers, who went on to finish 16th in their first season back in League One.
After a busy summer reshaping his squad, bringing in the likes of Rangers midfielder Matt Crooks, 23, MK Dons striker Dean Bowditch, 31, and Burnley forward Chris Long, 22, the latter on a season-long loan, Edinburgh is excited about the season in store.
Two 1-0 defeats on the road – at Shrewsbury in the league and QPR in the Carabao Cup – haven’t dampened the 47-year-old’s belief that the Cobblers can be a force to be reckoned with in the third tier – given a little bit of time.
“I’m really delighted with the squad we’ve put together,” Edinburgh told The FLP after the QPR loss. “I think what we have to be mindful of is that it’s a new squad with 13 new faces.
“We’ll have to be a little bit patient, to make sure we get that continuity and fluidity in our play, but I was pleased with what I saw tonight.
“That was a big step forward from what I saw on Saturday.
“We avoided relegation last year, not by the skin of our teeth, but we weren’t too far away from it. To be a top-half side I think would be an achievement this season – and we need to be more consistent than we were last year.
“With the group I have, I’m very confident we’ll be able to accomplish that.”
Although the Cobblers fired blanks in their opening two games, Edinburgh, right, is confident the goals will soon start to flow.
“We’ve got to get one or two up to speed and the understanding doesn’t just come overnight,” he said.
“What I’ve got to be mindful of myself is that not all of this squad was signed in the early part of the summer. It’s come at different stages, some later than others. Some are behind but tonight will have got a lot of players up to speed.”
The former Newport boss is expecting a quiet time at Sixfields before the transfer window shuts.
“I don’t expect us to do much more business,” he added.
“We need another goalkeeper, as competition for David Cornell, and one or two of the youngsters might go out on loan.”