Boss Chris Wilder has hailed the ‘unbelievable and outstanding effort’ of the 7,000 Cobblers supporters that will travel to Milton Keynes to back their team in Tuesday’s FA Cup third-round replay.
With a home tie in round four against Barclays Premeir League champions Chelsea the tantalising prize on offer to the winner of the clash at stadiummk, the match has really caught the imagination of the Town supporters.
Wembley play-off finals aside, the massive following that is pouring across the Buckinghamshire border is believed to be the largest to have travelled to watch the Cobblers.
It is a fantastic effort from the Cobblers fans, and Wilder admits he has been taken aback by the support he and his players will receive on Tuesday.
“Regardless if it was five minutes away, or half an hour away, to sell 7,000 tickets for a cup match is an unbelievable and outstanding effort in anybody’s book,” said the Cobblers boss.
“It is going to be a great occasion, it is going to be a good night for our supporters, a good opportunity for our players, and a good game of football.
“Dons are a really good side and they had a great result on Saturday.
“They are a Championship side, whatever players they put out, and they have a really good group of players.
“It is going to be a tough challenge to overcome, and they will be wanting to do better than they did in the first game.
“They are at home, but I am sure it will be a different experience for their players as well to have 7,000 travelling supporters in the ground.
“That is going to give us a huge boost, and we just want to repay the supporters for their loyalty, and the belief they have in this team, myself and the coaching staff.
“When the players go out on to the pitch and look to the left and it is full of our 7,000 supporters, it will be great.
“I played in a few games and when the support is really behind you and backing you in numbers, it can give you that extra yard, and give you that extra little bit of belief that you can go and produce good things.”
Wilder is in relaxed mood ahead of the showdown, and he believes his players will take the match in their stride as well.
“I want the players to enjoy it, because there is no pressure on us, and to be honest I don’t think my players have been playing with any pressure all season,” said the Cobblers manager.
“We have experienced players that can handle big games, and we have got nothing to lose.
“We are ahead of the game, we are in a great position in the league with 55 points from the games played, we are playing decent, attacking football, and everybody has a smile on their face.”
Wilder also expects the travelling supporters to create a party atmosphere inside stadiummk, as they continue to revel in what has been a quite remarkable season to date.
“You are sometimes at football clubs for a long time and supporters see the ups and downs,” said Wilder.
“There are not many clubs that have repeated success year in, year out, and for teams at our level, good seasons don’t come every year.
“It is a bit of a feast and famine existence, and the position we are in the supporters really should be enjoying supporting this football club, and it is a really good time to be involved.
“The players ar enjoying what they are doing, I am certainly enjoying being part of this, and most importantly the supporters are coming out in big numbers.
“I know we have one stand that is not up and running, but the board out the front (at Sixfields) says ‘sold out’, ‘sold out’, ‘sold out’, and our away following has been great, almost 1,000 at Dagenham, 1,000 at Notts County, everywhere we go, and we are taking 7,000 to Milton Keynes.
“The fans are showing their belief this could be our season, and we have to keep our heads down, keep churning out the results and keep going.”