Meet Town's opposition: Cobblers are goal shy and win shy, but new formation leaves caretaker boss encouraged
- Credit: PA
FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES
Ipswich Town's opponents tonight, Northampton Town, are fighting for their League One survival.
Keith Curle was sacked as boss of the Cobblers last week after a run of one win in 11 games. It's now one win in 12 after the team suffered a demoralising loss to the only team below them in the League One table, Burton Albion, on Saturday.
Curle was appointed manager of Northampton in 2018 and led them to the League Two play-off finals last year, where they beat Exeter 4-0 at Wembley.
But he hasn't made it past 26 games this new season.
Caretaker manager Jon Brady hopes to be in charge of the Cobblers at Ipswich Town tonight.
Brady oversaw his first game as temporary boss on Saturday when the Cobblers were beaten 2-0 at home to Burton.
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But despite a seventh successive league game without victory, Brady saw some encouraging signs and believes he can continue that improvement at Portman Road tonight, after he changed to a 4-3-3 formation on Saturday.
"I wanted to be more attacking and I wanted the full-backs to join in a lot more," explained Brady on the formation change. "I wanted to free them up and allow them to go forward.
"That happened in moments but not as much as we wanted. We also wanted the midfield two to play higher up and get closer to the striker."
Northampton are the lowest scorers in League One.
Their 20 goals scored so far, is six less than their nearest rivals, Shrewsbury Town, with their leading scorers, Sam Hoskins Harry Smith and Danny Rose all on four goals each.
They have won six league fixtures so far this campaign, but all against sides currently in the bottom half of the table.
Town and Northampton haven't met in League One so far this season. They were due to play on Boxing Day at Portman Road, but with Ipswich having members of staff down with Covid, including boss Paul Lambert, the game was called off.
In fact both clubs have rarely met in recent years, the last league encounter being in 1967, when the sides drew 1-1 in a Division Two encounter.
Since then the two teams have met only five times and all in the League Cup, Town winning three, there was one draw and the Cobblers won the other tie - the last time the two teams met.
That was 2011 when Northampton won 2-1 at Portman Road in front of 9,400 fans.
Northampton's club nickname is 'The Cobblers', a reference to the town's historical shoe-making industry.
They play their home games at the 7,798 capacity all-seater Sixfields Stadium, now called the PTS Academy Stadium, having moved from the County Ground in 1994, where they had played since their inception. The club were formed in 1897.
In that same year the Blackwall Tunnel was opened for traffic beneath the River Thames and Queen Victoria celebrated her accession to the throne in 1837 with her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.