Wilder insists there’s more to come from Cobblers

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder dishes out the orders during the Cobblers' 1-0 win over Mansfield (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Cobblers boss Chris Wilder dishes out the orders during the Cobblers' 1-0 win over Mansfield (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Cobblers boss Chris Wilder admitted his team should have beaten Mansfield by more than a single goal on Saturday but was delighted to see the side record their first opening-day win in six years.

Not since the 4-2 win over Cheltenham in 2008/09 have Northampton picked up three points in their first fixture of a campaign.

On-loan Port Vale winger Kaid Mohamed ensured that sequence came to an end when he headed in the winner against a sloppy Stags side after 23 minutes.

Mohamed himself becomes the first Town player to score a goal on the opening day since Leon Constantine did so - also in his debut - in that win over the Robins.

It was a well-deserved victory but one that might have been secured by a greater margin, with Marc Richards and Ivan Toney having chances to make the winning margin more emphatic in the second half.

But while Wilder admits his players could have - and perhaps should have - put the game to bed earlier, he was happy to toast a job well done and three points on the board.

“Every manager is after the same result on the opening day to get their season up and running and we’ve managed to do that,” said the Town boss, whose team were one of nine to record a Sky Bet League Two maximum in opening day.

“Mansfield are going to take points off teams this season. They are always a tough team to play, especially on the first day. That was a tough first game so to get a victory is very important for us.

“It was a tight first half but we managed to get the goal to get our noses in front. Mansfield are a competitive side and you have to fight to compete with them.

“For most of the second half we opened up and should have sewn the game up. We had chances and I’m disappointed we didn’t kill them off.”

As pleased as he was with the result, Wilder is well aware his team can improve; Mansfield mounted a brief, late spell of pressure on Saturday and although it came to nothing, the manager knows it is an element of the game that could have been better.

“We’re not the finished article but the attitude and commitment was spot on,” he said. “That was especially so when we were under pressure late on.

“Our ball retention was disappointing, especially in the first half, but there will be a lot more to come from us.”