Keith Curle admits his side face a tough task when they head to Swansea City this evening, but he also views it as a 'great opportunity' for the Cobblers to test themselves against high class opponents.
Swansea, after finishing 10th last season, are among the favourites to challenge for promotion out of the Championship and into the Premier League this term.
Managed by Steve Cooper, they've started their campaign with a 2-1 home victory over Hull City and a goalless draw at Derby County.
Next up is Northampton in the League Cup first round this evening, and Curle is under no illusions as to difficulty of the task facing his side at the Liberty Stadium.
He said: "It's going to be a challenge and a great challenge that we won't take a backward step from.
"They've got a way of playing that's easy on the eye with excellent ball retention and good rotation and good movement.
"They respect the football and what they want to do with it. They keep the ball away from you and they build play up."
Curle admits it's 'not ideal' for his side to be facing a long midweek trip in the middle of a hectic run of fixtures with seven games in the next 21 days.
However, he also believes the game presents a 'great opportunity' as Town take on the 2013 League Cup winners, though both teams are likely to make changes.
Curle added: "I haven't got a clue what they're going to do team selection wise but the ethos of how they want to play is something that's spread through the club so whoever plays will have the same mentality and the same skillset.
"But you've also got one eye on when we have possession of the ball, how are we going to hurt them? What are their weaknesses? Because every team in every division has a weakness.
"We have to make sure we nullify their strengths and identify their weaknesses. It might be from set-pieces or in wide areas or through the middle but we need to find it.
"They will get the ball down, pass and play. They invite the press but they know how to bypass it with the players they have so it's a good opportunity to test ourselves."