Portsmouth boss Paul Cook has congratulated the Cobblers on their ‘amazing’ start to the season.
Pompey travel to Sixfields on Saturday aiming to close the six-point gap between the sides in the Sky Bet League Two table.
Town are top of the pile and Portsmouth fourth, it is the division’s stand-out fixture, and Cook is looking forward to it.
“Saturday’s game is a good one, without trying to build it up too much,” said the Fratton Park boss.
“Northampton’s season so far has been nothing short of fantastic, amazing, whatever you want to say about it.
“To lead the table after the problems they have had is great credit to Chris Wilder and his players.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to be where they are, and Chris will know that there is a long way to go and that staying there is going to be the most difficult thing for them.
“But I think the people that go to the match on Saturday are in for a good game.
“I think there are two genuinely good football teams on the pitch, and it has all the makings a great game.”
Cook’s team are the bookies’ favourites to win at Sixfields despite the fact the Cobblers have won seven games in a row and lost just one of their past 15 league games.
Pompey are also a team in form, having lost just twice in the league all season, and Cook is anticipating a tough afternoon.
“Every game offers a different challenge, and because of Northampton’s run and their league position, the game will get that extra bit of media attention, and it is a difficult game,” said the former Chesterfield boss.
“When the fixtures come out I look at all the fixtures including the last one, which is Northampton at home, which also looks a bit of a good fixture at the minute! But it is what it is.
“We just keep going, and I think it is boring messages from managers sometimes and it’s repetition of what you do, and in my opinion what will see you home, but Saturday is going to be a very, very difficult game but a good one.”
Defeat for Portsmouth would leave them nine points behind the Cobblers with virtually half of the season played, but if that does happen then Cook, who steered Chesterfield to the league two title in 2014, will take it in his stride.
“There is a long way to go in the season, and if we were to lose on Saturday, then we lose. You move on to the next game,” said the Liverpudlian.
“It is about the 46 games, it’s not about the one, but certainly if we could win on Saturday and give our supporters something to cheer going to Orient that would be great.”