Clarke Carlisle is ready to play his part in taking the Cobblers to the next level after agreeing a loan deal at the club until January.
The temporary spell at Sixfields is Carlisle’s second and will run until the New Year, starting with the visit of Morecambe on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off).
Carlisle’s first loan came when Town were fighting for their Football League status at the wrong end of the division but his latest stay comes with the team looking to make an impression on the npower League Two play-offs.
And the 33-year-old - who played for York City against the Cobblers just two weeks ago - is eager to play a part in that.
“I come back to the club in a completely different set of circumstances and that is no surprise to me,” he said. “When I left at the end of last season I said that would be the case.
“I fully expected the team to be fighting it out at the top end of the table and I was proved right in the judgement.
“So I’m really pleased to be here and I’m really looking forward to helping to push the club to the next level.
“We’ve got a game against Morecambe this week and the fight starts straight away.”
As the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Carlisle has been a prominent figure in the past few weeks as the debate over the formation of a black players’ union has continued.
The defender also hopes to have a career in the media when his playing days are over, but insists he remains 100 per cent focused on on-field matters.
“I am most definitely committed to playing football,” said Carlisle, in an interview with BBC Radio Northampton.
“The work I do with the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) is really for the future and all about planning in terms of that.
“But football is my profession, it is my day job and I am 100 per cent committed to that.
“Aidy Boothroyd would be the first person to pull me up if he thought I was giving any less.
“I came back because I missed the place. I spoke to Aidy about coming back in the summer but I left it too long.
“It’s a fantastic squad here, we all get on really well and that was another one of the main reasons I came back.”