WATCH US GO SAYS JUSTIN

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By John Lyons

iMor­ri­son hasi faith in Har­ryi to lift Bluesi iWil­bra­ham:i I’ve put fam­i­lyi ties first...i

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.”

Mind­ful

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.”

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