Former Cobblers defender Anthony Charles makes a swift return to Sixfields with Plymouth Argyle tomorrow (Sat), and has warned his new team-mates they are in for a tough afternoon.
Charles was only released from his Cobblers contract last month, but he has quickly established himself as a key man in an Argyle defence that he knows is going have its work cut out on Saturday.
Plymouth manager John Sheridan will no doubt be asking Charles for a few tips on how to deal with the Cobblers’ attack, and the player has warned his manager that Northampton will come out ‘all guns blazing’.
“Northampton have moved on from last season,” Charles told the Plymouth Herald. “They have got two big men up front in Clive Platt and Adebayo Akinfenwa, and Chris Hackett is very direct in what he does and causes problems.
“It’s not just that. There are going to be numerous things we are going to have to focus on for the day.
“But we can’t get too distracted because we have our own way of playing and we need to make sure we do that.
“Northampton are the home team and with where they are in the table, they are going to be favourites.
“You would probably expect them to come out all guns blazing in the first five or 10 minutes.
“We need to make sure we keep their fans quiet, and that means us starting well.”
And he added: “Northampton are probably one of the strongest teams in the league.
“Away from home, results don’t really go their way, but it’s going to be a very difficult game for us when we go there.
“We have to be focused from the off. Teams have gone there – not many, I know – and got results.
“Hopefully we can be in that small number by putting in a very good performance.”
Charles knows more than most the threat that Town’s top scorer Akinfenwa possesses, having had to deal with him in training for 12 months.
And he is a big fan of the big man.
“Physically, Bayo is probably the strongest player there is,” said Charles.
“If he gets the ball there is no fighting him because you are not going to get it off him.
“One, you have to stop the ball getting to him and, two, you have to try to make sure you are not too tight on him.
“The best thing to do is keep him out of the box.”
Although he is coming to Northampton with the intention of getting three points, Charles has nothing but good things to say about his time as a Cobbler, and he is looking forward to his day back at Sixfields.
“It’s a game we have to prepare for, and I have to prepare for, in the right manner, but I’m looking forward to going back,” said Charles.
“I still speak to a number of the players there. For me, it was a real good place.
“They have a great set of lads and I think that’s probably reflecting in how well they are doing on the pitch.
“I don’t have a bad word to say about anybody there.”