Here goes then, the extra FA cup tie we could really have done without. Our fifth consecutive Tuesday night game with a sixth following quickly next week.
Tuesday night games in the Hoolahan era have often seen big changes to the starting line up and after Saturday’s performance in Milton Keynes, it’s safe to expect changes for the visit of Northampton.
Bonner has decisions to make at both ends of the pitch. At the back, does he reshuffle to help combat the inability to deal with long passes that caught us out twice at Sixfields and again at MK. With Taylor out long term and Jones possibly still out, it leaves him short on options. Iredale to centre back or Digby dropping back could resolve the organisation issues that comes with the Masterson/Okedina pairing. As we saw last season though, Bonner has form with backing his young centre halves.
Further up the pitch Tuesday night means no Wes. Could we see a return to the 433 shape we saw at home to Sheffield Wednesday? A change in formation could catch Northampton out and it’s a formation we’ve done well in. If Tracey isn’t fit to start, it looks like a reprise for both Smith and Brophy who had forgettable first halves at MK. This previewer would start with May and Worman, offering Jenson Weir a rest.
Want some positives? Last time we lost at MK Dons we went on to win the next three on the bounce.
What then are the rewards for a victory? A home tie against bogey side Exeter City now with added Jevani Brown or the team from Bradford that don’t think we stole their league place. Exeter and Bradford also play Tuesday night. The tie being played at St James Park perhaps favours Exeter.
Check out the latest pod below, featuring a preview of our upcoming league trip to Rotherham.
Takeaways from Bonner’s presser
- Saturday was a good lesson given the level of the opponent we played and we can take a lot from it and learn how to be competitive with the top teams.
- Felt the early goals were preventable.
- Expect the same squad from Saturday to be available. However, checking on Iredale (who took some knocks) and George Williams who had stitches but not concussion.
- Does expect one or two changes as per previous weeks with Tuesday night games, this is to protect the squad and keep everyone fit.
- Lloyd Jones still not fit.
- We’re determined to get into the next round.
- Jack Lankester is training and will feature.
Mitov, Williams, Okedina, Masterson, Iredale, Digby, May, Worman, Brophy, Smith, Ironside
Unlike us, Northampton have only had the one game since our original tie. Said game saw the Cobblers winning run in League Two come to an end. The Saints went down 2-1 away to Bristol Rovers in a feisty encounter. Leading at half time via a penalty, two second half Rovers goals saw Northampton fall to their first league defeat in 5 games.
Despite that defeat, Northampton have started life back in League Two pretty well.
We spoke with the It’s All Cobblers to Me podcast ahead of our original match, hear our interview in this pod.
Who is their player to watch?
The joys of seeing your opposition just a week ago makes scouting easier. Spurs loanee Kion Etete caused issues with his strength and movement. Likewise, left back Ali Koiki impressed with his pace.
Who’s in the dug out?
Conference journeyman Jon Brady racked up promotions as a player with Rushden and Diamonds before losing twice in Conference Play Offs with Chester and Stevenage.
Brady of course spent two seasons with the Us playing under both Rob Newman and Jimmy Quinn.
What’s their recent form like?
By all accounts their recent trip to Bristol was a struggle with poor defending and lack options up top with Etete nullified well by Rovers.
Recent results: W, W, W, D, L
Any ex-United players?
If you’d forgotten about Paul Lewis before the original tie, he promptly reminded you via his goal.
If there wasn’t enough ex-Us action on the bench for you already, Marc Richards is also part of the coaching set-up. Minus the Sombrero these days.
Last time out
Given the last time out was only ten days ago we’re guessing you remember the story to that one. The last competitive home fixture with Northampton was a five goal thriller completed by a David Amoo 94th minute winner. Jevani Brown scored a sublime first half strike with the outside of his boot and then went on to miss a penalty.
A matchday album to listen to
Damon Albarn – The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows
Blur and Gorillaz genius Albarn now resides in Iceland and the expansive and stunning view from his studio is sighted as a big influence on this, Albarn’s second solo record. Melancholic and haunting throughout, it is the use of classical Jazz saxophone and drum machine that create the best moments for us.
The UTAS team’s terrible Moosenet predictions
Jordan: 2-1 Smith
Julian: 2-1 Adam May
Swindle: 2-1 Smith
Owen: 1-0 Ironside
From the archive
Let’s take a look at the last non-Saturday meeting between us at the Abbey. Adam Cunnington and Ryan Bird score as newly promoted United come from behind to win a Friday night encounter. Watch out for a young Ivan Toney giving Northampton the lead.