Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed he will name his strongest possible Cobblers side for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy third-round clash with Leyton Orient at Sixfields.
Town play host to an Os side in supreme form at the moment, having won their past six games, the most recent of which - a 4-2 win at Alfreton Town in the FA Cup - was watched by Boothroyd.
With that first-hand scouting report in mind, Northampton will move away from what has become their staple tactic for the competition, giving game time to fringe players and those in need of match action.
“I saw them on Sunday against Alfreton and it was a good game,” said Boothroyd. “It was their sixth win in a row and they’re in good form.
“It was an open game; they’re certainly a team that can score goals and they are a team that can concede them as well.
“It’s going to be an entertaining game and we need to continue the good things we’ve been doing as a team and as a club and work hard to progress from the tie.”
As well as Orient’s red-hot form, Boothroyd is also conscious of the fact that no Northampton side has reached the area semi-final since Colin Calderwood’s side were knocked out by a Scott McGleish-inspired Colchester United in the 2003-04 campaign.
The current boss knows he will be judged on the team’s league performance this season but as long as that is good, a cup run will add to the feeling of achievement at Sixfields.
“You’ve got to be careful how far you plan ahead and make sure you concentrate on the next game,” he said.
“You can’t worry about what’s going to happen on Saturday or the Saturday after that or over Christmas, the next game is the most important one.
“So we’ll pick our strongest side of what we’ve got available and see if we can get through to the next round.
“It is an important cup for us because we want to do well in it. If you have a good cup run and do well in the league it generally means you’ve had a good season.”