David Artell says ‘his players deserve all the credit’ for the way they responded from the disappointing defeat to Burton Albion last weekend.
Winger Owen Dale smashed home the only goal of the game in the final 15 minutes to seal all three points for the Alex at Northampton and Artell was delighted that his players showed a different side of their armoury to come through. On a tricky Sixfields pitch, the Alex had to win their personal battles to come through a testing game against a Northampton side fighting for their lives.
Following the 1-0 win, Artell told the club’s official website: “A job well done. It was a fair better result than last week.
“The pitch was tricky and we had planned for that because we knew that they trained on it. It was the worst pitch we have played on but I don’t want that to be a criticism or reflective on how well we played or didn’t play.
“We knew it would be about second balls, and doing that ugly side of the game that we didn’t do very well last week (against Burton). When the boys put their minds to it they can do it and they proved it.
“It wasn’t a game high on quality but we showed two moments of real quality really when Kirky got in behind and had a shot saved one-on-one and then Murphy has produced a great ball and it was a really good finish from Owen, a really good finish. That was enough to win the game.
“They got in behind us once all game and the lad fluffed his lines. We got in twice and scored with one. I thought we deserved it and thought that once we scored the goal we were really good. Our players controlled the game really well to see it out and credit to the players and the way they have responded this week in training after what happened last week at home to Burton.
“We had to change our style because of the pitch and the opposition and if you don’t you can look foolish. I have a strong philosophy on football and the football club has a strong philosophy in align to mine but it is also important to win games.
“It is not about throwing the philosophy out of the window, it is about doing it in the right areas at the right time and we did that when we could today, on what was a tricky pitch.
“Now we have to become more consistent. We cannot have win one, lose one, win one and that is what we will look to improve on, starting with the next 10 games.
Before the game, the players warmed up in t-shirts in support of young Ashton and afterwards the manager revealed that the squad have donated £2,000 of fines for him in his brave fight.
Artell told the club’s official website: “We will do everything we can to help Ashton and his family. We will be doing a run and bike ride for 36 miles to the stadiums and doing stuff in pre-season for him. The lads have worn the shirts today and donated their fines this week, so that’s another £2,000 plus and we will do all we can to raise as much money as we can for him and the family.
“It is horrific news that the family have had to deal with, devastating, and we will do everything we possibly can and we will.”