Chris Wilder has praised the Cobblers’ weekend opponents Newport County as a good side who play ‘sensible football’.
Newport visit Sixfields on the back of a 4-0 thumping at Cambridge United but remain fifth in Sky Bet League Two and firmly in the race for promotion to the next level.
They were comfortable winners in the meeting between the two sides earlier in the season, producing an excellent first-half performance and going on to win 3-2.
And although Northampton have improved in the past few weeks, winning back-to-back games and keeping successive clean sheets, Wilder knows his team will have their work cut out against the Exiles.
“They play proper, sensible football,” he said. “I think Justin (Edinburgh, Newport manager) had a go at a couple of Portsmouth reporters for saying they do this and they do that but look at their league position. “That’s a fantastic league position and I’d swap ours for theirs. They compete when they have to and they play in the right areas.
“Whatever formation they play, they are a tough team to play against and I think we’d all like our teams to be like that, to have that good mix of being able to win battles and being able to play.
“They will want to show a reaction to the disappointing day they had at Cambridge last week but they haven’t had many disappointing days this season.”
The Cobblers’ 3-2 defeat at Rodney Parade in September was only their second away defeat of the league campaign at that point but it was, Wilder admits, a fully-deserved loss.
Newport were 3-0 up at half-time before a Lawson D’Ath wonder goal and Marc Richards header set up a grandstand finish for the visitors.
But Edinburgh’s side held on and have maintained that strength and consistency throughout the campaign.
“They started like a train in the game at their place,” he said. “They were 3-0 up before half-time and then we managed to stage a bit of a fightback.
“On another day we might have got something from the game but they’ve shown the consistency we’re all after throughout the whole season.
“They played really well on the day, were better than us and maybe that was a correct result even though we could have snatched something at the end.”