Marc Richards is hoping to get a good reception from the Chesterfield fans on his return to the Proact Stadium on Saturday - but admits if he doesn’t it will just spur him on even more.
The Cobblers skipper spent two years with the Spireites, and helped them to promotion from league two before he made the decision to return to Sixfields in the summer of 2014.
Saturday will be the first time the 34-year-old has returned to his old stomping ground, and although he is set to start on the bench, he is looking forward to it.
“I really enjoyed my time at Chesterfield,” said Richards, who scored 20 goals in 57 starts and 26 substitute appearances over the course of two seasons for the Spireites.
“I went there with the belief that everything was in place for the club to get promotion, and we did it in the second season there, and I was happy with that.
“The club is very well ran, the training ground is immaculate, and the club is where it should be I think.
“They have a good chairman and a manager who knows the league inside out and has worked at a higher level, so I have no doubt Chesterfield will be in and around the top end of the table come the end of the season.”
Asked if he expects to get a positve reception from the Spireites faithful, Richards added: “I hope I get a good reception, but if not it will just spur me on to try and nick a goal if possible!
“There was never any bad mouthing or sour words when I left Chesterfield, I left with a lot of fond memories of the club.”
“I went there to try and help them get a promotion, and I came away with a promotion, and I had two happy years there.
“The reason I left Chesterfield was the fact that Chris Wilder was in charge at Northampton, and I was lured away to come and try and chase another promotion here.”
The Cobblers travel to Derbyshire protecting a 31-game unbeaten run in the league, with seven of those results coming in league one so far this season.
It is a proud record, and one the team is keen to keep extending, although Richards is in no doubt who the main threat to them will be in the Chesterfield line-up.
“Ched Evans is somebody we are going to have to keep a close eye on, and we are going to have to do really well to keep him quiet,” said Richards of the former Sheffield United striker.
“He has played at a higher level, and he has already proved his worth this season by scoring a few goals for Chesterfield.
“We are going to have to be good to keep him quiet, but that’s not to say we haven’t got the quality to do just that.
“Zander (Diamond), Lewin (Nyatanga) and Gaby (Zakuani) have all done really well this season between the three of them, but whoever plays they are going to have to be on their game, because Ched Evans scores goals.”