Cobblers boss Keith Curle admitted he was 'shocked and surprised' when he heard the news that Sol Campbell has left his post as Macclesfield Town manager.
The two clubs meet at the PTS Stadium on Saturday and news of Campbell's departure broke during Curle's pre-match press conference on Thursday.
After completing the great escape last season, Macclesfield have made promising start to the current campaign having beaten Leyton Orient 3-0 last weekend before knocking League One Blackpool out of the Carabao Cup in midweek.
But the club, who are also in the midst of a financial crisis off the pitch, will be without the man who spearheaded their turnaround in fortunes when they travel to Northampton this weekend.
"I'm slightly shocked - it was his first job in management and he did a fantastic job," said Curle.
"It was a thankless task to keep them up with some of the obstacles he was facing when he first went in. It was remarkable job and he would have gained fantastic experience and I wish him well.
"The timing is surprising because of the start to the season they've had and the planning and preparation that would have gone into the season and shaping his squad.
"You don't know until we find out the finer details but all you can do is wish him well."
Curle would have spent the week preparing to face Macclesfield with Campbell as manger, but he says the news won't change how he and his team approach Saturday's fixture.
"It doesn't change a great deal because a lot of the details Sol put in place will still be evident whether or not they have a short-term replacement," he added.
"There won't be a big influx in players between now and Saturday so there won't be many personnel changes."