Chris Wilder is confident the Cobblers’ main rivals for relegation will face difficult games this weekend as he enters the final stage of the battle to keep the club in the Football League.
Town play host to Wilder’s former club Oxford United at a sold-out Sixfields (3pm ko) in the knowledge that only a point will keep them up.
A loss would even be enough if Wycombe Wanderers fail to win their game at already-relegated Torquay United while Bristol Rovers, who are above Northampton on goal difference, are at home to Mansfield.
Torquay are managed by former Sixfields favourite Chris Hargreaves, who was twice interviewed for the vacancy at the Cobblers in December before agreeing to a return to the Devon club.
Despite them being relegated to the Skrill Premier, Hargreaves has spoken about a desire to avoid finishing bottom and Wilder is confident they will be a match for the Chairboys.
“I’m 100 per cent certain that Torquay will want to go out on a high,” he said. “Chris (Hargreaves) has done a good job there and he will possibly be thinking that with a couple of results here and there that they’d have been in with a shout (of staying up).
“They will fancy their chances and there is a personal pride factor too. Out of our opponents, Bristol Rovers and Wycombe’s opponents, there won’t be anyone going out of the back door.
“We have to make sure that we recognise that and that we get our result sorted out.”