Wilder urges Cobblers to finish the job

Ian Morris celebrates after putting the Cobblers 2-0 up at Dagenham (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
Ian Morris celebrates after putting the Cobblers 2-0 up at Dagenham (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Chris Wilder was delighted to see his Cobblers side take a huge step towards Football League safety at Dagenham but said there would be ‘no pats on the back’ for his players.

Town won 3-0 at Victoria Road with 18-year-old striker Ivan Toney scoring twice and midfielder Ian Morris striking a superb volley from 25 yards.

Northampton are now three points clear of the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone and need just a draw against Oxford United at Sixfields in the final game of the season next weekend to ensure their safety.

A defeat would even be enough to keep Wilder’s side in the League if Wycombe, who dropped into the bottom two for the first time this season following a home loss to Bristol Rovers, fail to win at Torquay United.

And, as good as the win at Dagenham was, the manager immediately put the focus on completing the great escape next weekend.

“We couldn’t have asked for any more, it was a quality start and we scored three great goals,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we controlled our result and we did that.

“It’s important that we see the job off. We’re confident, against whoever we play, that we can get a victory. We deserved something against Portsmouth but we had to go again.

“Nothing can stop us now. We will have an intense week of training, there will be no patting each other on the back and we’ll have a drink next Saturday if we seal the deal.”

Toney was the star performer at Victoria Road, scoring a header after six minutes and notching with an excellent overhead kick for the result-clinching third minutes before half-time.

He impressed with his quickness and strength but, maintaining his general theme, Wilder was keen to stress to the 18-year-old that he must continue that level of performance in the final match of the campaign.

“He gave us a spark last week and he deserved to play, regardless of his age,” he said. “We went with him and John up the top end of the pitch and that was quite a big call for us because they are two young boys.

“They set us off on the front foot. Ivan will get all the headlines and he will deserve to because his performance and his goals were exceptional.

“I dragged him into the changing room afterwards because the job is not done. I’m not trying to be negative, we did the job at Dagenham and we need to do it again.”