Chris Wilder remains confident his Cobblers squad can ‘gatecrash’ the league two play-offs this season despite dropping five points in their past two games.
If they require any inspiration to achieve a top-seven finish, they need look no further than Saturday opponents York City.
When 2013 became 2014, the Minstermen were 22nd in Sky Bet League Two, just three points above the rock-bottom Cobblers and a massive 15 off Newport in seventh.
They won their next three and then lost twice in January but were not beaten again that season and grabbed the final play-off place, although they eventually lost to Fleetwood in the semi-finals.
“There are teams below us that will be thinking that if they can stick four, five or six results together then they can get in the play-offs,” said Wilder, whose team are back on home soil after trips to Hartlepool and Mansfield.
“And I was talking to Jim Bentley last week and he was saying he needs two or three results to make sure they stay in the division this year – and they’re above us.
“So that’s how tight it has been in the division, it was the same last year too, and we feel with the form that we’re in that we can gatecrash the play-offs.
“We will be going all out to do that but York had a great run last year and they find themselves in the bottom third, but they know they can clear away from that.
“Our home form has been very good lately, we always start on the front foot and create chances and we’ll look to do that on Saturday.”
Despite the setbacks on the road, Wilder has been pleased with the team’s form, especially at home, and has promised supporters another brisk start to this weekend’s match against a York side in decent form.
“We feel like we’re playing some really good stuff,” he said. “Even with 10 men at Mansfield last weekend the handbrake was off, we were piling forward and we were trying to win the game.
“We’re the highest goalscorers in the division and I really think that is a good achievement for us. If we can keep a settled back four then we will keep clean sheets too.
“You don’t become leading goalscorers in this league if you don’t play on the front foot and try to win games.”