Cobblers boss Chris Wilder says he’s ‘not bothered’ by his side’s off-colour performance in their 1-0 win over Newport County on Good Friday because they ‘will be playing League One football’ next season.
Northampton came away with the points thanks to John Marquis’ first-half goal but not without a mighty scare as County shaded much of the game and created several excellent chances.
The Cobblers took victory though to move up to 85 points, 13 clear of the chasing pack in League Two with a game in hand.
“I don’t care, I’m really not bothered,” said Wilder when asked why his side weren’t at their best.
“We’ve won games this season playing really well and we’ve won games when we’ve been behind.
“We’ll be playing League One football next year.
“Some teams play great football tee to green and win but then get beaten and they will be playing League Two football next year, or might get the play-offs, or might not get promoted.
“But we’ll go up and we’re in League One and I’m putting myself on the line.
“The boys are a little bit disappointed but they’re winning footballers week in, week out.
“Of course you always love to knock the ball about and credit to the opposition who haven’t got a lot to play for so the shackles were off and played with a bit of freedom.
“We’re all frustrated, I’m frustrated with how my team’s played because we expect to do well.
“Maybe there’s a little bit of frustration in the ground but we’ve got 85 points with eight games to go which is an unbelievable situation to be in.”
Scott Boden, John-Christophe Ayina and Medy Elito had Newport’s clearest opportunities in Friday’s game but all failed to find the net as Marquis’ well-worked goal proved the winner.
Wilder added: “The players have nothing to feel down about because we’d all love to knock it about and pick off passes and we’ve not done anything right today apart from winning a game of football and that’s not a bad habit to have.
“We all nitpick and we’ll look at it and we won’t sweep the performance under the carpet because we didn’t do all the basic stuff that you want them to do.
“We were too deep, we didn’t win enough tackles and we didn’t pass the ball well enough and you feel frustrated.
“I tried to change the shape and make substitutions and you feel a little bit helpless on the sidelines because the players just had to get through it.
“It’s a fantastic habit to have and we’ve had it all season.”