Justin Edinburgh is hoping to hit the ground running and ‘make an impact’ in his first game in charge of the Cobblers at Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday.
Town travel to Stadium MK hoping to claim a first win since the 1-0 victory at Oxford United on Boxing Day, but Edinburgh knows it is going to be a big challenge against Robbie Neilson’s men.
Edinburgh has had a full week to work with his new players and also integrate new signing Keshi Anderson into the group, and he is hoping he can get off to a flyer in Bletchley.
“It’s my first game in charge and I want to make an impact,” said Edinburgh. “I want the team to make an impact and to be a team that the fans can be proud of.
“MK Dons are still in a bit of a transition themselves and it’s a vastly open league this season.
“We want to hit the ground running and we will be looking to start Saturday on the front foot.”
The Cobblers are set to be backed by an away following of around 3,000 supporters on Saturday, but Edinburgh knows that it is going to be a big ask to give them the win they crave in his first game at the helm.
Edinburgh does have very recent good memories of taking on MK, as he managed Gillingham to a 1-0 win over Neilson’s side just five weeks ago, but he says the fact the Dons are below the Cobblers in the league one table shows just how strong the division is.
“I think it shows the competitiveness of this league,” said Edinburgh.
“Milton Keynes are a club who were in the Championship last season, and will have probably been fancying themselves to be contenders for promotion.
“I know Karl Robinson well, he left the club, and Robbie (Neilson) has gone in and he is implementing his own ideas.
“It is a big club that probably expects to be higher in the table, but we are probably expecting that ourselves, and it just shows how competitive and open this division is.”
The Cobblers are set to hand new signing Keshi Anderson a debut, while Neal Eardley is set to continue at right-back with Brendan Moloney (knee) and Aaron Phillips (hamstring) still out injured.
Also likely to be missing is midfielder Paul Anderson, who has had the stitches removed from the gash he suffered to his knee in the 5-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers, but is not yet match fit.