Town Head Coach Luke Williams has been left impressed by Northampton Town’s solid start to life in the Sky Bet League One and is expecting a stern test this evening (7.45pm Kick-Off).
Having stormed to the League Two title last season after stringing together a remarkable 24 game unbeaten run, the Cobblers have carried that form into the third tier of English football this term.
Despite failing to pick up three points in August, Northampton have adapted well under new manager Rob Page and have now won three out of their last four in the league, including an emphatic 4-0 rout of Southend United at the weekend.
That means tonight’s visitors to SN1 will be full of confidence and although Town will be too following their excellent 2-0 win away at Oldham Athletic on Saturday, Williams knows his side will have to be at their best in order to get the three points.
“I think they are an excellent team in terms of their shape and the organisation and discipline,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“There are some players in there that could really hurt you so I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far.
“I was very impressed with the manager last season when we played against Port Vale and I know it is going to be a very, very tough game.”
Northampton have proved to be dangerous from set-pieces so far this term, largely thanks to the arrival of Matty Taylor who has three goals and four assists in 2016/17.
And, having seen the former Portsmouth and West Ham United star score an incredible free-kick at the weekend, Williams is wary about the danger of giving away too many set-pieces tonight.
“That is real top quality that you don’t see very often in League One, so it is an extra threat,” he added.
“There are so many goals scored from set-pieces in this division so we’re always concerned about corners and free-kicks, but even more so with that ability on the pitch.
“We are certainly much more of a threat from a corner ourselves but we need to be more accurate from free-kicks, but there is no doubt that we’ve got the talent in the squad to hit free-kicks and score, so we’ve added.”
Meanwhile, Town were excellent against Oldham at the weekend and Williams was pleased with a lot of factors from his side’s performance, but consistency is now the main focus for the Head Coach.
“If we can raise our level of performance and make that level of performance consistent, then I’m sure a run of results will follow in the wake of that,” Williams continued.
“It is true as well that we have played some very, very good football this season and it is not the first time we have played well. We have played well and not got what we’ve deserved sometimes.
“And then, of course, it’s true that we’ve played poorly as well at times and not got anything, so we need to get a higher level of consistency and the results will follow.
“The discipline of us in positional play on Saturday was very good and then there was an attitude to run and a focus to stay concentrated for 90 minutes.
“We’ve had spells in games where we’ve been excellent and then spells where we’ve come off it and it is hard to put your finger on the reasons why because the opposition didn’t change in the course of the game.
“At times we’ve struggled to stay focused and dropped the discipline levels of our build-up play and we’ve taken our intensity away.
“I think it was a better performance on Saturday for the majority of the game so that is now the level we need to reach more often.”
Town’s first goal against Oldham featured an incredible 17 passes and Williams was pleased to see his charges’ unique style of football bear fruit in the perfect fashion.
“That is what we’re about because nothing that took place during the build-up to that goal was by chance or off the cuff – everything was worked on and everything was done for a reason.
“That was the end result.
“Over the course of the game we had quite a number of attacks that were well put together and probably the final pass and the final decision at the end of it wasn’t as good as it should have been, and that’s why we didn’t ultimately score a lot more goals.
“But that is what we should be about and we should be about that style of play on a much more consistent basis.”