There are times when the mood around a club is likely to have a greater influence on a forthcoming match than the bare statistics and that could be the case at Macclesfield Town.

Ordinarily, backing a side that has won just once by October would be unappealing, but context is vital.

The Silkmen played their first 12 games under Mark Yates and while the former Cheltenham gaffer tried his best to turn results around, there were two major problems.

Firstly, he enforced long ball football with only one striker on the pitch, which meant his side often invited pressure.

Secondly, he didn’t have a pre-ordained affinity with fans prior to taking over; because Macclesfield are unlikely to enjoy any budgetary advantages, they need a sense of togetherness to overcome adversity, as we saw in their 2017-18 National League title-winning season under John Askey.

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Since Neil Howarth and Danny Whitaker have taken interim charge, they have solved both of those problems.

Firstly, we are seeing the north-west outfit play more football on the deck, which is enabling them to create more chances.

Secondly, Howarth and Whitaker are both club legends for their achievements during prolonged stints as players and have therefore found it easier to get fans onside.

Caretaker managers who are very popular with players and fans tend to get good results, because everyone at the club wants them to get the job permanently and we could see a similar situation at Moss Rose.

Northampton Town, therefore, could be vulnerable opposition.

Although new manager Keith Curle inherits a capable squad, it is not one that suits his direct tactics and 3-5-2 formation.

In Saturday’s 1-0 loss at MK Dons, we saw the likes of Hakeem Odoffin, John-Joe O’Toole and Billy Waters all operating in roles they are not necessarily used to and thus, there could be a transitional period.

Tip:

Macclesfield and Under 4.5 goals –

Read Gabriel Sutton’s Championship Week 14 Betting Preview here!

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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