Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh says his side will be ready for league action - after signing off pre-season with a 2-1 win against Newport County.
The Town gaffer saw his new-look side fend off a strong challenge from his former employers, and while it was far from a convincing performance, the result is one that pleased Edinburgh.
Speaking after the Sixfields win, the manager said: “We’ve won the game but respect that we could do better, but I thought the effort and application was good today.
“The application and attitude of the players this pre-season has been first class. I feel the fitness levels are where we want them to be.
“There’s a lot of new players to integrate into the squad so it’s not always going to be fluid, but in August and September when there’s lots of games that will all fall into place.
“All in all it’s been a steady pre-season.”
A fine goal from new loan signing Chris Long levelled the game for the Cobblers after County took a second half lead, and Leon Barnett headed home a late winner.
Edinburgh was delighted to see his newest recruit hit the ground running, and now can’t wait to see his squad in action when their League One campaigns kicks off at Shrewsbury next Saturday.
And he hopes to have three other players challenging to win a place in his squad.
Edinburgh said: “Chris Long joined the group yesterday, and to get 45 minutes and a goal like that will do his confidence no harm whatsoever.
“We’re looking at increasing John-Joe O’Toole’s training time and getting him back into the fray, the same with Brendan Moloney. And Shaun McWilliams isn’t too far away either.
“We all look and anticipate the start of the season, and that’s where it matters. And we feel we are ready for Shrewsbury on Saturday.
“It’s nice to have selection headaches, it’s something you want as a manger, and we’re looking forward to the week ahead planning and making sure that we’re ready.”