We take a look at our new opponents for 2016/17As 2015/16 is over and done with, it’s time to look ahead to 2016/17 and the new challenges that await the Blues come August.
Whilst we are in the summer break, we take a look at one of the new teams that Blues will face in the new campaign.
This week we look at Sky Bet League 2 Champions, Northampton Town.
Who are this lot then?
Northampton Town, a team that went from the brink of administration to promotion glory all within a year.
The Cobblers were the third in the table when Kelvin Thomas completed his takeover of the club in November 2015.
From the deal being done, Chris Wilder’s side went from being within a shout of promotion to commanding the division cruising to the title in April 2016.
This will be the first time Northampton will compete in League One since 2009.
How did they get on last season?
Northampton finished the season an impressive 13 points clear at the top of League Two.
Losing just five games all season, the Cobblers also boasted the second highest goals scored tally in the division, netting 82 times. Marc Richards finished as top scorer for the club, scoring 17.
Northampton will now look to replicate that form as they make the step up to the third-tier.
Northampton are now in the search for a new manager following Chris Wilder’s exit to Sheffield United.
Wilder’s impressive work at Sixfields Stadium made him a much sought after coach, and the ex-defender’s former club was the one that managed to prize him away.
Wilder will be joined at Bramall Lane by his assistant Alan Knill and the club's head of sports science Matt Prestridge.
What happened when we last met?
The last time we met Northampton came back in January 2015 at Sixfields Stadium.
The two sides battled to a 1-1 draw, which was the Cobblers first league point since the previous November.
Shaquille Coulthirst fired the Blues in front before Lawson D'Ath headed in a leveller.
Southend were reduced to ten men before the end of the game after Luke Prosser earned a second booking.
What’s their ground like?
Sixfields Stadium has been the home of Northampton Town since October 1994.
Located on the outskirts of the town, the ground houses 7,750 spectators, and is an all-seater stadium.
The Blues have won five of their 13 visits to Sixfields, the biggest win coming in January 2012 in a 5-2 victory with goals from Dave Martin and a brace apiece from Liam Dickinson and Bilel Mohsni.