Pompey boss: We will honour Northampton achievement

Northampton celebrate being named League Two champions Picture: Kirsty Edmonds
Northampton celebrate being named League Two champions Picture: Kirsty Edmonds
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Pompey have pledged to show their respect towards Northampton’s title-winning achievement tomorrow.

Paul Cook will instruct his players to demonstrate their admiration for Chris Wilder’s side before kick-off.

Northampton celebrate winning League Two Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Northampton celebrate winning League Two Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

However, the club has still to decide what form that will take.

Cook jointly-nominated Wilder and Accrington boss John Coleman as his managers of the year.

Unable to separate them, he believes both should be applauded for their League Two efforts this term.

In the meantime, the Cobblers travel to Fratton Park to bring the curtain down on a season they have excelled.

They thoroughly deserve to be champions and thoroughly deserve to be described as the best team in the league

Paul Cook

And the Blues boss is adamant they are worthy winners of the title.

Cook said: ‘We will do something to recognise them, without doubt.

‘You have got to have manners, one day we want it to be us.

‘Northampton definitely deserve that.

‘They have had an exceptional season. Wilder has done an amazing job, from the problems they had early on to going on the run they had. Great credit to him and the players.

‘They thoroughly deserve to be champions and thoroughly deserve to be described as the best team in the league.

‘It does not just happen, it comes with hard work and endeavour.

‘They are very good from set-pieces, have good players, all of a sudden John-Joe O’Toole has come to the fore, the centre-halves have all done well, Ricky Holmes has come in since they played us.

‘When you watch DVDs of their games they are always at it and are a very, very good side.

‘They are full of good League Two players, full of experience. All the fits are good, the balances are good, they have men in the team.

‘I don’t think you can offer enough superlatives about their season, I really don’t.

‘They are obviously playing at the height of confidence so tomorrow will be a tough game for us.’

Pompey were the last team to beat Northampton in League Two, with Conor Chaplin netting a late winner in December.

Since then Wilder’s side have embarked on an unbeaten run of 24 league matches.

Yet, despite a magnificent campaign, Cook is unable to separate their achievements with that of second-placed Accrington.

He added: ‘I voted for Chris Wilder and John Coleman, I don’t think you could split them, they were my two votes.

‘John is equal for me, without doubt, I think Chris would be the first to say that.

‘Northampton were expected to go close because they have spent money like us, Oxford and Luton. Accrington haven’t.

‘If you put an actual gun to my head, I probably would have to go for John. But I don’t think you could do that because of Chris’ achievements.

‘Those two for me were the stand-outs.’