Aidy Boothroyd says the return to form, fitness and the Sixfields fold for four key players has been a major factor in turning around the Cobblers’ form.
Town have won three league games on the bounce and hit a rich seam of goalscoring form, notching 13 goals in four matches during a highly productive November that has taken the club to the brink of the npower League Two play-offs.
Adebayo Akinfenwa has played a major part in that run, scoring seven goals in five games to move to third in the divisional top goalscorers, while Chris Hackett has also been in excellent form playing as a second striker just behind the powerhouse.
But there is a quartet of players who Boothroyd feels have helped take the team the next level.
“We’re very buoyant at the moment, the players are very upbeat and we’re looking forward to playing our next game,” said the Cobblers boss, who names a side at the Kassam Stadium to face Oxford United this afternoon (ko 3pm) in his side’s next assignment.
“Part of it is down to learning from mistakes. We are making mistakes and we will make more in the future but we have to make sure we learn from them, which we are doing.
“Opportunity has presented itself to players like Jake Robinson and Ishmel Demontagnac, we’ve had a good player come back in Ben Harding and Clarke (Carlisle) has been added to the squad.
“The bench is the best we’ve had since I’ve been here.
“We had a lot of good options on Tuesday night (against Morecambe) and there were lots of different things we could’ve done to mix it up and change it.
“The players on the pitch know that as well so it keeps them on their toes and it puts doubt in the opposition’s mind.
“When they know you can mix it up and play lots of different systems and start with different personnel it makes them think differently about their team selection.”
Another key player who has made a big impression in recent weeks has been second-year scholar Lewis Hornby, a 17-year-old whose mature style means he has made a central-midfield role all his own.
“People talk about us being without first-team players but the ones in the side are first-team players,” he said.
“Everyone expects Lewis Hornby to come out because he’s a young lad, but he’s been doing excellently and he’s earned his place.
“He has been absolutely excellent, nothing fazes him and as long as he keeps playing as well as he is the others have got to dislodge him.”