Cobblers chairman David Cardoza has described manager Aidy Boothroyd as ‘a fantastic signing’ for the club on the eve of his one-year anniversary at Sixfields.
Boothroyd was appointed Northampton boss on November 29 last year and chose a team for the first time almost two weeks later, for the 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra on December 10.
He eventually went on to steer the team away from the npower League Two relegation zone and this season has made further improvements, signing key players such as Chris Hackett and Alex Nicholls in the summer.
Town currently lie 10th in the division and are three points off the play-off places with the league taking a back seat this weekend to accommodate second-round matches in the FA Cup.
The week off will allow Boothroyd to scout future opponents and transfer targets, and continue the work he has done to help transform the club.
“Aidy does an awful lot of work behind the scenes that the fans don’t necessarily see,” said Cardoza.
“He’s been a fantastic signing for us and he’s turned us from a club that was in, not quite disarray, but looking at the Conference, to one that is upset that we didn’t win on Saturday to go third or fourth.
“There was a real fear because we were only going one way.
“We knew Aidy would take some time to do well after replacing Gary Johnson and a couple of months into it we were still bottom of the league.
“But we’ve come a long way.”
One of the key areas of progress has been in the youth system.
Boothroyd’s predecessor Gary Johnson never selected a player from the junior ranks during his time in charge, but Lewis Hornby, who has become an established first-team player in recent weeks, was on the bench for the current boss’s first match.
The plan this season was to use a smaller squad with players from the youth team stepping up when required to compensate for injuries or suspensions, a policy fully approved of by the man who signs the cheques.
“It’s really pleasing,” said Cardoza. “I was at the FA Youth Cup game against York and three or four of the boys were exceptional.
“Over the next couple of years we should have some coming through to the first team.
“It’s the result of a lot of hard work by Geoff Harrop, who left a couple of years ago, and Trevor Gould, who has come in. Between them, it’s paying off.”