Zander Diamond believes the Cobblers have regained the ruthless streak that was such a major part of last season’s Sky Bet League Two title success.
On the eve of Chris Wilder, the architect of that memorable season, returning to Sixfields as manager of league one champions-elect Sheffield United, Diamond says the Town players have rediscovered their bite.
The Cobblers’ relentless drive, so clear last season under Wilder, was something that was perhaps lost as the team struggled in the latter months of Rob Page’s short reign in charge, but the Scotsman feels it is back in place under the stewardship of Justin Edinburgh.
“Those that have watched us over the years, you know you will always be judged on what happened beforehand, if you win titles and such things,” said Diamond.
“But there does seem to be a bit of ruthlessness back in us, and we are getting personal in a way, but don’t take that out of context.
“We are dragging it out of each other and you need to do that to stamp your authority on things in this league.
“Hopefully between now and the end of the season we get more victories, more points on the board and have a good end to the season.”
The Cobblers take on the title-chasing Blades at what will be a packed out Sixfields on Saturday.
United are one win away from clinching promotion, which would be Wilder’s second in successive seasons after his Sixfields triumph 12 months ago, and Diamond isn’t surprised at his former’s boss’s impact at Bramall Lane.
Although he says the secret to the success is not just down to the manager.
“Chris is a fantastic manager, but it’s not just him it’s Alan (Knill) and Matt (Prestridge) as well, they came as a package and probably got the best out of me as a player,” said Diamond, who was signed for the Cobblers by Wilder in February, 2014.
“If you ask any of the boys who were involved last season, it was a fantastic occasion for us, and it is no surprise he is going well at Sheffield United.
“It is his boyhood club and there is the pressure that comes with that, but he has done extremely well and they are probably nailed on to be champions and rightly so because they have been the best team in the league.”