Cobblers boss Jon Brady believes it could take up to 10 games for his side to find their feet and start to click as a team ahead of Saturday's season-opening clash with Colchester United at Sixfields.
Town impressed in finishing fourth in Sky Bet League Two last season but it was not until Hartlepool away in October, their 11th game of the season, when they clicked into gear. Although they were beaten 2-1 that day, a strong performance at Victoria Park was followed by eight wins in the next 10 games and laid the foundations for a promotion challenge.
The fact that Brady has managed to keep together the majority of last year’s squad should help Cobblers make a smoother start to the new campaign but nine new players – with more to come – still need to be bedded in, which will not happen instantly.
"I think it's good that we have kept probably 55 per cent of the group, but there is still a change of about 45 per cent in there,” Brady said.
Predicting how Cobblers might line-up against Hartlepool United
James Heneghan's Northampton Town v Hartlepool United preview
Cobblers turned down 'substantial offers' for Guthrie before defender agreed new deal
Thrilled Guthrie says it was a 'no-brainer' to commit his future to Cobblers and sign new deal
Breaking: Cobblers tie down captain Guthrie to long-term contract
"We have got to now try and inbred the principles into the new players, and let them know how we play and what we do, and that has been working well but it will also take time.
"I think for the first 10 games or so it will be a work in progress and the players, especially the new ones, will be picking up on what's needed to make the difference. We have to try, as coaches, and as a staff, to blend them into the group and then there is the flavour that they can add to the team.
"It is a fresh start, it's a new group and it's a new league. For me this season, a lot of teams have recruited quite well so it is going to be a totally new season, I don't think many teams have stayed the same at all."
With so much money spent across League Two this summer, the 2022/23 campaign is expected to be as competitive as ever. Stockport County and Bradford City start as favourites but Northampton are among a clutch of teams expected to go close.
"I think you will see a lot of chop and change, especially in the first 10 games,” Brady added. "There may be one or two frontrunners, but I think with all the 24 teams on paper it looks quite even.
"But of course the game is not played on paper, it's played with organisation, substance, delivering on the pitch, and we will see that over the first 10 games.
"I think you'll see a bit of inconsistency all over and that's because there has been so much change with a lot of the teams. But that's not my focus, my focus is getting our group right and getting our group up to speed and we will be a work in progress over the next 10 games I feel."