Dean Austin: Northampton caretaker boss 'different class' despite looming relegation

Northampton Town caretaker manager Dean Austin
Time may have almost run out on Northampton's League One tenure, but caretaker manager Dean Austin has impressed his squad

Northampton Town captain David Buchanan says caretaker manager Dean Austin has turned the side around, despite being all but relegated from League One.

They will go down unless they beat Oldham by nine goals and hope Rochdale lose to Charlton on the final day.

Austin's side lost 1-0 at Walsall after a 90th-minute winner to end any realistic hopes of avoiding the drop.

They had won their previous two games under Austin, who took over after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's sacking on 2 April.

"Fair play to Deano, he's been different class with the players since he's come in," Buchanan told BBC Radio Northampton.

"He's given us a real organisation, we look a team on the front foot again.

"With the group we've got we look a decent team, we're passing it about the pitch, we're creating chances.

"We got done in the 90th minute again today, but we look like a team that can get clean sheet again."

'We'll come back fighting'

While Northampton still have a mathematical chance of survival, Buchanan says he and his team-mates have resigned themselves to relegation.

Having lost their first four games of the season Hasselbaink replaced Justin Edinburgh as manager on 4 September.

But they won just eight of the Dutchman's 35 league games in charge and lost 17 times in League One, including a nine-game winless run immediately before his departure.

"We've got a fantastic group that has underachieved this year," added Buchanan, who is under contract for next season at Sixfields.

"I know we've taken it close and I know we could have got to the last game but anybody who saw the game today, we should have beaten Walsall.

"But over the course of the season the league table doesn't lie, we've not been good enough.

"We'll regroup in the summer and we'll come back fighting."

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