Cobblers boss Keith Curle believes a deep run in this season's FA Cup could prove beneficial for his side's hopes of moving up the Sky Bet League Two table ahead of tomorrow's first-round clash at Chippenham.
Cobblers, currently ninth in League Two and on a four-game unbeaten run, have reached the third-round of the FA Cup just once in the past 13 seasons, that coming under Chris Wilder in 2015/16.
Curle accepts he will ultimately be judged on where his side finish in the league but, as Newport County showed last season, a successful cup run can translate into other competitions.
"It's about winning games and sometimes it can be a win from nothing that's a spark for everybody, whether that's in the FA Cup, the Leasing.com Trophy or the league," said Curle.
"We're starting to see glimpses of it now. We got a bad result against Scunthorpe and everybody was very despondent but we backed that up with performances and results recently.
"That creates a little bit of interest again and a cup run provides an excellent opportunity for the players to go out and put in a performance that gives them a chance to go out and play against top-of-the-table Crewe.
"Ultimately, myself and the staff get judged on where we finish in the league, but a cup run can always help.
"We will come up against different challenges and different situations throughout the season, probably more so towards the end of the season if we are where we want to be which is at the top of the table.
"We'll come up against teams that are also vying for the top positions and that creates a different type of challenge.
"Players accept challenges and they're given honestly and the challenge we set the players are achievable targets.
"Getting the victory against Chippenham on Saturday is an achievable target. The players will have a gameplan and they'll understand the gameplan and the individual requirements of what we need them to do."