Getting more minutes under his players' belts was the main positive to come out of Tuesday's 4-0 win over Frome for Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh, who admitted his side struggled to ever find top gear despite the one-sided nature of the final scoreline.
Marc Richards, Alex Revell, Daniel Powell and Dean Bowditch were all on target in an ultimately comfortable victory but, for at least an hour, the Cobblers were matched by a resilient and impressive Frome outfit.
In the end, however, Town's quality told as they earned a third win from three pre-season games, although it was the fitness side of things that most pleased Edinburgh.
"It was a little bit of a longer journey than we may have wished for in pre-season and the pitch wasn't in the best condition but the players' attitudes was good and again we got through with no injuries," he said afterwards.
"We got some extra minutes in some individuals so all in all it's pleasing without being overexcited by the performance.
"It was difficult to find any momentum or the pace to the game. The pitch was slow and dry and it just looked a bit disjointed but they stuck at it.
"It was difficult to move the ball but it was another hour for a lot of the squad, including 90 minutes for Ash Taylor, so there's plenty of positives."
The four goals take Northampton's tally to 16 in pre-season, and it was particularly encouraging to see three strikers on the score sheet.
"Goals are always good for strikers and a clean sheet is pleasing," added Edinburgh. "We know we're a long way away from where we want to be but in terms of preparation for our fitness we're getting to where we want to be."