Luke Guttridge says the Cobblers players are disappointed to be eighth in npower League Two and feels they have underachieved in terms of their league performance so far this season.
Midfielder Guttridge will form part of a Town team that travels to Southend United, one of his former clubs, for their latest attempt to rectify an away record that has undermined some excellent performances on home soil.
Eleven wins have been secured at Sixfields but just three on the team’s travels, a statistic Guttridge accepts needs to change.
The 30-year-old, who missed three months of the campaign with a broken bone in his foot, admits the squad feel disappointed they are not higher up in the league and that they expected to be doing better than they are.
“It would be nice to get into the play-offs but we’ll be aiming higher than that,” he said. “We feel we’ve underachieved as a group of players and we’re not happy with how the season has gone so far.
“Some teams up there will be thinking their league position is a positive thing but we’re going into it disappointed with ourselves.
“We know if we could have picked up just two or three away wins then we’d be a lot higher in the table.
“There has been a big turnaround from last season but there has been a big turnaround of players and it’s more or less a new team.
“As a player you have to be able to adapt yourself to new situations and new people coming in; we’ve built a good team this year with some dangerous players.”
Improving the team’s away form remains the top priority for manager Aidy Boothroyd and his players, who play a Southend side weakened considerably by injury and illness this weekend - Kevan Hurst was the latest player to add his name to the unavailable list for the Shrimpers after falling ill on Thursday.
For Guttridge, ‘three or four’ wins from the team’s remaining eight games might be enough to see them involved in the promotion picture.
“People read into things too much,” he said. “We’ve just got to stay consistent at home and improve our away form and if we do that, we’ll finish in a good position.
“That sounds easy and it’s not going to be but if we pick up three or four wins away from home that will put us in a strong position in the league.”