Opposition blog: Northampton Town’s change in fortunes is something we could never have predicted

Bradford City v Northampton Town in the npower League 2 Play-Off Final in 2013.
Bradford City v Northampton Town in the npower League 2 Play-Off Final in 2013.

Who’d have thought, at the start of the year, that the Cobblers would turn their season around and arrive at the Valentine’s Day match against Mansfield Town within touching distance of a play off place. Certainly not me.

Even the most optimistic fan couldn’t have predicted the turn in fortunes for Chris Wilder’s side in 2015.

Going into the clash at Field Mill on the back of five consecutive victories – for a sense of perspective, prior to this run Northampton had only won five of their last 18 league games.

Yet the Cobblers are a rejuvenated outfit after the transfer window, acquiring the services of Ricky Holmes and Brendan Moloney on long-term deals and keeping the front runner in the race for the League Two Golden Boot in Marc Richards.

Add to this the fact that the Cobblers have kept three clean sheets in six games and it’s fair to assume that a struggling Mansfield side won’t prove to be too much of a test.

However it’s getting to the time of year where a relegation dogfight begins, a concept Northampton Town know almost too well after escaping by the skin of their teeth last season.

With this, the form books can almost be torn up and thrown out of the window, so Mansfield should not be underestimated – this is the team that held high-flying Wycombe the other week.

With their first win in seven last weekend against a solid Stevenage side they may be a team on the up too, and the Stags will almost certainly want to kick on their push for survival with their home crowd behind them.

On the day though, it seems that Northampton may have too much for them. Momentum is an important factor in football, and the Cobblers are powering their way to the play-offs.

With Richards, Holmes and d’Ath in unstoppable form of late, it’s hard to see past a side that hit five past Accrington Stanley in their previous away match.