Aidy Boothroyd believes the fact the Cobblers have taken four points from their past two games fully justified his decision to rotate several first-team players at Wimbledon on Tuesday night.
Town started the game without Chris Hackett, Luke Guttridge, Ben Harding and Clive Platt and with a central midfield of Ben Tozer and Lewis Hornby.
Ishmel Demontagnac was brought in for his first start of the calendar year but despite the changes the team rallied from a goal deficit to secure a 1-1 draw through Adebayo Akinfenwa’s 17th goal of the season, from the penalty spot.
“The big picture is the fact we took four points from two games,” he said.
“I do like to keep a settled side, everyone knows that now, but it’s a long old campaign and when you’re playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday I felt it was important to give one or two players a breather.
“On top of that, I’ve got a squad here that has been invested in by the chairman and if you’re going to bring players in and not play them they might as well not be here.
“I looked at the bench on Saturday and a few of them looked like they felt sorry for themselves and looked a bit disillusioned.”
Wimbledon belied their status as the Football League’s bottom club to take a 1-0 lead through Alan Bennett’s header, although Boothroyd felt a free-kick should have been awarded for a foul on goalkeeper Lee Nicholls in the build-up.
“It was an old-fashioned game between two fully committed teams,” he said.
“It was like being back in the 80s again, there were a lot of challenges that were allowed to go.
“I’m not sure about the foul on our goalkeeper (Lee Nicholls) for the first goal but they tell me these things even themselves out eventually.
“There were two teams that had a go at each other and there were teams that would have folded under the pressure but we did well and we could have won it in the end.”