Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd believes Neil Ardley’s strong bond with Wimbledon will be a factor in the their battle against relegation from the Football League.
And Boothroyd has warned his players to be wary of the Dons’ weekend win over Bradford City as an indicator of the potential difficulty of tonight’s (Tues) game at Kingsmeadow.
Town go to south-west London on the back of seven victories from their past 10 games but Wimbledon themselves are in decent form, having only lost two of their past eight and beating the Bantams last time out.
Despite such form, they remain bottom of npower League Two while the Cobblers could go into its automatic promotion places if they pick up three points and Rotherham fail to win at Bristol Rovers.
Boothroyd, though, is cautious ahead of the contest.
“They got a very good result at the weekend against a good team in Bradford and that is a fantastic result,” he said.
“Neal has got the club in his heart. It is his first managerial appointment and he will want to put his stamp on the place, which takes time.
“They’re in a similar position to the one we were in last season, where you’re fighting for your lives and you’re scrapping for absolutely everything.
“But that was a huge win for them at the weekend and if we don’t go into this game with the right attitude they will beat us as well.
“We need to have a very strong, solid mentality because they have got results against teams from the top half of this division.”
Northampton were somewhat fortunate to win at Southend and were unconvincing for long spells against a home side reduced to 10 men after Bilel Mohsni’s sending-off.
But Boothroyd feels there was a mental improvement and a desire to take something from the contest that was generated from within the players.
“The mentality we had going into the Southend game was different,” he said. “Our mantra was that we come away with a point as an absolute minimum.
“When Southend equalised I could see the players looking over and they knew that we had to take at least a point out of that game.
“That didn’t come from me. The willingness to want to put your head on things and win challenges came from the players, and their desire in the game.”