Clive Platt admits the Cobblers squad has taken a ‘bit of a battering’ in the past week - both from the outside and the inside.
First came the back-to-back league defeats, at Gillingham (where the team was unfortunate to lose) and at Rotherham (where they were not).
Then came the inquest. As on their previous trip up the M1 to play a fired-up league two rival with a big chequebook and even bigger expectations, Town shipped three goals and came away with nothing.
And, just like at Chesterfield, there were voices raised and frayed tempers in the away dressing room at the New York Stadium as the debate over the reasons for the loss literally raged.
Platt feels the willingness of the players to instantly get things off their chests will stand them in good stead as they bid to recover from the Rotherham defeat in exactly the same way they did after losing to Chesterfield - with a win.
“We have taken a bit of a battering in the past couple of weeks,” said Platt, who wore Rochdale blue for four years between 1999 and 2003 but this Saturday will hope to put get the better of his former employers.
“There have been arguments and things said in the dressing room and I think that’s good.
“It means nothing gets swept under the carpet and it has to be done for the good of the team, it’s important that every person feels they can argue with each other and still get on with it.
“Of the teams I’ve been involved with that have achieved something there has been an undercurrent of togetherness and we seem to have that.
“I really believe we can achieve something this season because everyone is working for each other in the right way. We don’t want to let this season fizzle away.”
Platt acknowledges that the big debate for the past week - and for most of the season - has been the huge contrast between the team’s home and away records.
Town are second in the league two form table at Sixfields but 22nd on their travels, a feature of the campaign that is threatening to undermine its chances of producing a promotion.
With home games against Rochdale and Plymouth sandwiching a trip to Southend, Platt has stressed the need to maintain the focus on Sixfields strength.
“It’s been a hard couple of weeks for us,” he said. “We’d been on a good run for a couple of months and we were really positive going into the two away games.
“I thought Gillingham was just a horrendous night with bad conditions and we were unlucky; we were second best at Rotherham and we didn’t play well.
“Our home form has been great and we have to keep maintaining that.
“We are very aware that our away form needs to improve if we want to do anything this season but we also know we have to keep working hard at home because that is what has kept us up there.”
Meanwhile, Cobblers striker Lewis Wilson has rejoined Kettering Town on loan.
The former Newport Pagnell man enjoyed a successful stint at the Poppies earlier in the season, and will stay with the Steel Park club until March.