Cobblers players plead for boss to stay

NORTHAMPTON players are bracing themselves for the loss of manager Colin Calderwood to Ipswich.

NORTHAMPTON players are bracing themselves for the loss of manager Colin Calderwood to Ipswich, writes Mel Henderson.

The 41-year-old Scot has emerged as a firm favourite to succeed Joe Royle in the Portman Road hotseat.

And the Cobblers' top scorer, Scott McGleish, summed up the feelings of the entire Sixfields squad when he said: “We'll all wish him good luck if he gets the job - but we'd rather he didn't go.”

Former Colchester striker McGleish bagged 24 goals last season to help Northampton clinch automatic promotion to League One.

He said: “I couldn't say a bad word about the gaffer. He's a top manager and it doesn't surprise me that he is wanted elsewhere.

“He's done a brilliant job for us. I wasn't there when he took over but after getting his first job as a manager in October he took the club into the play-offs.

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“It's a great achievement to

do that in less than a full season and what he's done since then hasn't surprised anyone.

“He wants the game played the right way - on the floor - and his instructions to me as a striker were to get myself into the box when we were in possession. It was just what I wanted to hear.

“As a former defender himself he knows what he's talking about and places great emphasis on that part of the game. Last season we had 26 clean sheets, which had an awful lot to do with us being promoted.

“There are only a handful of players that he didn't bring to the club, so it's very much his team.

“He has told us he has faith in us and that he trusts us - and we have paid him back.”

McGleish, who has netted 155 goals in a league career that started at Charlton in 1994, is clinging to the hope that Calderwood will still be in charge at Sixfields next season.

He added: “I really believe we are capable of going up again next season if the gaffer doesn't go.

“I think we could do what Southend have done and win promotion for the second year on the trot.

“Look at my old club Colchester. They fully deserve to be where they are as well, but I believe we could follow them into the Championship.

“Northampton aren't just sitting back and thinking they've done well to get out of League Two. There is genuine belief and ambition that we can go on from here.

“If the gaffer is offered the Ipswich job and takes it,we'll all wish him the best of luck.

“But what we really want to hear is that he's not going anywhere. There's great camaraderie here and he's a big part of it.”

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