Caretaker manager Dean Austin lavished praise on the 'phenomenal commitment' of his players after the Cobblers stopped the rot with a crucial and overdue 3-2 victory away at now-relegated Bury on Saturday.
Ten games and two months without a win going into this game at Gigg Lane, Northampton did it the hard way after twice throwing away the lead but Ash Taylor's last-gasp winner earned them three crucial points, closing the gap to safety to three points - effectively four including goal difference - heading into the final three games of the season.
Earlier, Taylor had opened the scoring with a sixth-minute header and Sam Hoskins also struck in the first-half but Peter Clarke's close-range finish and then Danny Mayor's excellent second-half goal looked to have robbed Town of victory, only for Taylor to have the final word.
"It was quite a tense game from our point of view but we got the three points in the end and I thought we probably deserved it based on clear-cut chances," said Austin, who oversaw his first win as caretaker boss on Saturday.
"Since I've taken over, with regards to the group and I'm talking about the starters and the subs, they've worked phenomenally hard. Their commitment has been unbelievable.
"I said to them at the start that the worst thing that you can have questioned as a professional footballer is your commitment and they have been questioned and that has to hurt because if anyone had done that with me, I'd have been seriously distressed.
"This is my job and my livelihood but you could see the hurt in the players after the Peterborough game last week and to be fair they've been absolutely phenomenal.
"It wasn't always pretty today and there were moments when we were under stress and what have you but we've spoken about that when we suffer, we have to suffer together as a team.
"We're not in a position that we can afford to carry anybody and to a man they've been brilliant for me."