Chris Wilder is delighted that the Cobblers are finally in control of their own destiny and has vowed to go ‘on the front foot’ in the final game of the season, against Oxford United.
Town need just a point against the club Wilder left to join them in January to guarantee their Football League survival when they wrap up their season at Sixfields this Saturday.
After spending 217 consecutive days in the relegation zone, Northampton came out of it with an emphatic 3-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge at the weekend.
And within minutes of that game finishing, Wilder was already putting the focus on the next fixture, against his former club and a side who cannot now finish in the Sky Bet League Two play-offs.
“It’s massive for us (to be out of the bottom two) and we’ve got it in our own hands now,” he said.
“We scored some good goals at Dagenham and maybe they ran out of steam a little bit.
“We had to play well against them to get a result; Wayne (Burnett, Dagenham manager) always gets the best out of his teams and they’ve been around the play-offs for most of the season.
“The players put themselves on the line and they have to do that when they play for me because that’s what I demand.
“I wanted them to enjoy the support they got at Dagenham and to take the applause from the fans, but as soon as the changing room door shut the focus went onto the week ahead.
“We’ll go into the Oxford game on the front foot.”
The Cobblers were supported by more than 1,200 fans at Dagenham and it was a loud and boisterous crowd that toasted their crucial victory.
Wilder now wants to reward the team’s long-suffering supporters with a result on the final day that will secure the club’s League status.
“The crowd here have been absolutely exceptional since I’ve been here,” he said.
“The welcome that I’ve got and the support the players have got has been first class.
“For them, and for the futures of the players we have to make sure we keep this football club in the division.”