Reaction: Northampton Town 3-2 Blues

The most important thing was getting 90 minutes into a lot of them.

Lee Bowyer

Lee Bowyer gave his assessment of events after Blues were beaten for the first time in pre-season away to Northampton Town.

Blues were on the wrong end of a result from an eventful game at Sixfields where Ivan Sanchez and Lukas Jutkiewicz found the net in front of over 1,000 travelling fans.

It was the first time for 16 months that the team had been vocally backed on the road, with the attendance of Bluesnoses after such a lengthy absence and the 90 minutes afforded to his First Team players being what mattered most to the Head Coach.

Speaking to the media post-match, Bowyer was clear about where his focus lies ahead of the Sky Bet Championship campaign.

He said: “We are still building up to get ready for Sheffield United, so the most important thing was getting 90 minutes into a lot of them today and no injuries. I thought it was a good workout again.”

The Gaffer then offered a detailed explanation of what satisfied him most from the fourth pre-season runout, offering particular praise for the threat that his side produced on the flanks.

Bowyer told reporters: “We will work on the finishing side, but the most important thing for me is that our keeper is giving it to our defenders and now we’re going from one end of the pitch to the other without them touching the ball and we are having a shot.

“We are creating chances and that for me is pleasing, the players have come a long way in a short space of time. What I am asking some of them to do is out of their comfort zone, but they are doing it and doing it well – they will get better. There was a lot of good things today.

“Both our widemen did really well, [Kristian] Pedersen and Max [Colin] joined in and [Lukas] Jutkiewicz’ goal, that’s what he thrives on. He could have had another couple. I thought our delivery was really good, but the most pleasing thing was how we got there.”

The day began at Wast Hills Training Ground where Blues beat a Salford City XI, with Bowyer and his First Team then staff travelling to Northampton for game number two. And the Boss was also pleased with what he saw against the Ammies, as the side ran out 7-0 winners.

On the Salford test, he said: “They worked hard this morning and most importantly they got goals in another game where we created a lot. It was a young side but again they got minutes which they needed. The Oxford United game got called off so we were thankful to get another.”

Bowyer finished his press duties by providing an update on the injured Ivan Sunjic and when fans can hope to see Wolves loanee Dion Sanderson in a Blues shirt.

On Sunjic he explained: “It is an awkward little one and it is just a little bit sore still. He did some running on Thursday but just felt it a little bit. We just can’t take the risk. If we make it worse then he is going to be out longer. It is just a bruising that needs to settle down.”

In terms of Sanderson he said: “He will be training with us in about two and a half weeks, he is running outside but he just needs to get up to some sort of level before he starts joining in with us. He’s not too far off.”

Bowyer also spoke to BluesTV after the clash at Sixfields. You can hear more from the Head Coach here.