Form means nothing to Boothroyd

Experience tells Northampton Town boss Aidy Boothroyd that form counts for little heading into the play-offs.

Last Updated: 01/05/13 at 15:54   

Aidy Boothroyd: Form counts for little

Aidy Boothroyd: Form counts for little

Boothroyd's Northampton team have won just one of their past six npower League Two matches heading into tomorrow night's semi-final first leg against Cheltenham, who have won three and drawn one of their past five games.

The other semi-final sees the two in-form sides go head-to-head.

Bradford have five victories and three draws from their past nine outings while Burton have won three of their past four fixtures.

The Cobblers are on the worst run, but Boothroyd is not concerned.

In 2006, it was the same story for his Watford team. The Hornets finished the campaign with just three wins from their final 10 games but overcame Crystal Place 3-0 in the play-offs before beating Leeds by the same scoreline in the final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium to clinch promotion to the Premier League.

"You can look at form in different ways," said Northampton boss Boothroyd.

"Another way of looking at it is we have won 11 of our last 12 home matches. Now that puts a different slant on things, doesn't it?

"But I don't believe form counts for much in these situations.

"When we got promoted at Watford we lost to Crystal Palace towards the end of the season. We had lost to Leeds as well and we still went up, so it can go either way.

"It's about having all your players fit and making sure on the day the players perform as well as they can.

"Unbelievably, I am going to have a fully-fit squad to choose from apart from Alex Nicholls, who broke his leg last year, and that is a great position to be in at this stage of the season.

"We have done very well at home this season and it's important that we maintain that, but also I've been really pleased with our recent away form.

"Hopefully we can now put it all together and make sure that we come good at the right time."

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates is also able to draw on past play-off experience.

The Robins reached the final last season at Wembley where they lost 2-0 to Crewe and Yates hopes that will stand them in good stead this time round.

He said: "Last year's experience will hopefully have done us some good.

"We can prepare and plan properly for this and draw on our experience from that but it's essentially a different group, a different team, against different opposition.

"It's just how you handle it. People say it's a lottery but we're in there with a chance and we're not looking beyond Thursday at this moment in time."

The two league meetings between the teams this season, which were both won by Cheltenham, have led Yates to think his team will have to withstand an aerial bombardment from Northampton tomorrow night.

"It's a tough place to go, there is no doubt about it, and we will be in for a really physical battle," said the Robins boss.

"We will be under bombardment from their set pieces, which are a fantastic weapon for them. But we have got to deal with them and play our way.

"We've done it twice already this season but that's not something we are thinking about.

"We had two positive results against them and they were very tough games that could have gone either way, but we deserved to win both games.

"But nothing in the past will influence Thursday night or Sunday. It will just be about making sure we turn up and perform well."

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