Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd believes today’s home game against Wycombe will be the biggest match of the season so far for his team.
Town go into the Sixfields showdown (Sat, ko 3pm) having picked up four points from their past two away games in npower League Two, a haul that has helped them into 12th place in the league table.
Boothroyd admits he is ‘greedy’ for his team to do better than that, and feels it is vital they build on those good away results with more points at the expense of a Wanderers team who find themselves third bottom in the league in what has been an injury-hit campaign so far.
“I try to stay away from talking about other people’s teams and other’s people’s problems because I’ve got enough problems of my own,” said Boothroyd.
“But I think this is out biggest game of the season, without a doubt.
“The team has teased me and teased our supporters with three fantastic performances in a week away from home.
“They’ve done a lot of miles and scored a lot of goals.
“Consistency is the main thing now. The difference between a successful team and an unsuccessful one is consistency.
“So this is a massive game for us and it’s one where we’ve got to go all out for three points to make sure we cement the points we have picked up on the road recently.
“Otherwise the work we have done in the previous games becomes a bit hollow, so these next two are really big matches for us.”
League two is starting to take shape with Gillingham five points clear of second-placed Port Vale at the top, and Aldershot and perennial strugglers Barnet occupying the relegation slots.
But just six points - two wins - separate Burton Albion, in the final play-off place, and 17th-placed Oxford United, who have sustained some heavy losses already this season.
Boothroyd knows the spell from now until the New Year will be pivotal in the context of the season and is fully aware his side have to maintain their form through to January.
“I do think this period from now until January is going to be critical in terms of sorting the league out,” said the Town boss.
“We know who’s had the flying starts and we know who is around the play-offs but then there isn’t much of a gap between the teams in trouble and the teams who might get into that top seven.
“So it’s really tight and that’s why we’ve got to be as strong as we can and keep building on the progress we’ve made.
“I’m pleased with the performances and the attitude of all the players but I’m greedy and I want us to be more than 12th.”