Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes the Cobblers could become a force once they find their feet in Sky Bet League Two.
Relegated last season, Town have not won in their past four league outings and only once in all nine fixtures so far.
It’s a start that sees them sitting a lowly 20th in the table, just four points above the bottom two, and Flitcroft says it is not unusual for relegated teams to struggle to adjust to life back in the fourth tier.
Flitcroft said: “You look at last season when Port Vale hurtled down the league and Chesterfield went out of the league, sometimes it’s hard finding your feet.
“It is a very robust league two – a very direct league.
“There is a lot more football played in league one, and it can be difficult sometimes to acclimatise and adjust.
“But Northampton have a lot of good players and when they settle and understand the environment they are in they will pick up their form.
“They are a team full of very good experience right through the heart of the side.
“They are not where they want to be in the table right now, but they will be dangerous opponents
“Like Cambridge last Saturday they are a team with absolutely everything to fight for.
“Northampton have players who can hurt you and are opponents who want to get their season on track - as are a lot of teams coming up to that 10 game mark.
“We have done work on Northampton and where we can affect their weaknesses, but we really need to focus on what we have been good at at home and improving on that.”
Mansfield have lost just once in the league this season, but they have also drawn five of their eight games.
They are currently 16th in league two and are four points better off than the Cobblers, having played one game less.