Northampton Town safety not end of season - Boothroyd

Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd insists that League Two safety is not his end goal this season.

The Cobblers are nine points clear of bottom sides Hereford and Macclesfield, with a game in hand on both.

Boothroyd told BBC Northampton: "We're not safe yet but we know we're going to be. It's very easy to reach a target and then down tools, psychologically.

"It's important we stay competitive, give the supporters something to cheer about and some optimism."

He continued: "We've got a long close-season, and the players, the staff and I will decide how long we stay at the end of the season and how early we come back.

"That'll be dependant on how well we do towards the end of the season."

Boothroyd's side have lost just three league matches in their last 13 games, climbing from bottom of the table to 18th place, and the Cobblers boss said he has been happy with his side's reaction to relegation fears.

"I think this is a good club to be at right now. There's an expectancy that we might actually be a force next year. I'm quick to temper that - what we want is to be better than this year.

"But the players want to be here and that's important. For the lads that are out-of-contract, I would imagine that - for those that are playing - they'll be very happy if they can stay.

"And for those that have got a year left that aren't in the team, this is the time to prove what you're all about and [that you] want to be part of the future.

"We'll be employing a sport scientist on Monday, Craig Smith, who's currently at West Ham. The [players' fitness] testing needs to be done now to get our fitness levels much higher."

Boothroyd also hopes to develop closer links with local education centres and sport teams in the future.

"We haven't got enough ties. We've been a little island.

"We've got Northampton Saints not half a mile away and we don't speak to them enough. They are the Manchester United of rugby, in my opinion.

"I went to see [Saints director of rugby] Jim Mallinder in the first month I was here.

"We've got to have like-minded people working with like-minded people. We've got a big sport science place at Moulton College and we need to get involved in that. Everyone gets something out of it."

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