Keith Curle has sympathy with his under-fire opposite number Steven Pressley as he makes his Carlisle United return on Tuesday night - but will be doing his utmost to heap more pressure on the beleagured Scotsman.
Pressley is feeling the heat at Brunton Park following a run of four defeats in their past five league games, and three losses in a row.
The latest setback was a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday when the former Scotland international cut short the post-match interview with the local BBC radio reporter, unhappy with the line of questioning he was facing.
Curle, who managed Carlisle from 2014-2018, takes his Cobblers team to Cumbria determined to build on Saturday's much-needed 2-0 win over Salford City.
And although he knows if he does claim three points against Carlisle then the pressure will increase on Pressley, he says that is just the dog eat dog world of being a football manager.
"I don't really know Steven, but I have a lot of respect for him and how he conducts himself," said Curle, whose Cobblers team are five places and four points better off than their hosts on Tuesday.
"He is a passionate person, he cares about football and he cares about his team, which comes across, and he is trying to protect his team.
"Every manager has to face difficult questions when your team is not getting the results they want, but I think he has come across as very honest.
"He is simply giving an honest appraisal, and trying to protect his changing room, and quite often you have to do that.
"If you are not getting results then the only people who can get results for you are the people in that changing room.
"So you have to protect them, you have to give them belief that what they are trying to do through the week will get them results.
"We have all been there, and I have gone through spells where things aren't going right and you need things to change.
"We are going there and are going into an environment where we know we need to stop them from playing how they want to play, and we need to enforce our style of play on them.
"We have to earn the right to play, get them facing their own goal, and create goalscoring opportunities."