Following the play off final debacle of 2013, the close season proved to be even more of a joke under the then manager, Aidy Boothroyd. Trialists were playing pre season games in their droves, the squad was not even close to taking shape when the season began, and loan after loan soon followed. It was only when wilder was appointed in late January of this year, a squad full of players was finally assembled, a squad which did not rely on 1 month loan deals, and a squad which ultimately saved us from non-league doom.
Bearing this in mind, the fact that Wilder had completed his summer dealings (barr maybe a striker, depending on Nicholls’ fitness) with over 2 weeks to go before our first pre season FRIENDLY, is astonishing. Not only is the timing of the squad impressive, but the players brought in show that Wilder is now getting the full backing of a chairman, something I believe he lacked while at Oxford.
I don’t believe many Cobblers fans would have believed that we could recruit the likes of John Joe O’Toole this summer, add in Marc Richards, and the extremely impressive Zander Diamond and Gregor Robertson and I believe there is a lot of reason to be positive ahead of the new season.
With the likes of hackett also penning a new contract, Kaid Mohamed coming in to create pace on both wings, and the possibility of Ivan Toney flourishing in his first full season, Cobblers fans should be optimistic. Automatic promotion may be a stretch too far this season, bearing in mind the narrow escape weve had in 3 of the past 4 seasons, but play offs is definitely achievable. I believe we have always had players within our squad where you might question their ability, and what they actually bring to the team, this season however, I look at the squad and there is not one player i’m not happy we’ve signed or kept. For the first time since Calderwood, Wilder is a man to trust, and one I believe (and hope) will lead us to the play offs this season.