Dunne confident Mansfield can 'cause problems' for the Cobblers
The Stags continue to struggle this season despite the change of manager and sit down in 21st place with just 35 points, 13 of which have come since Coughlan's appointment.
Dunne, who was filling in for Coughlan at the pre-match press conference, said: “Northampton were our first opponents when Graham came in and it was a tough game.
“We expect another tough game at Northampton so we just have to prepare ourselves.
“We think our performance levels are good at the moment. We think we are becoming more consistent. So we go there with confidence we can give them a really good game.
“Fitness has improved and we are also starting to see players express themselves a bit more in games.
“Northampton have been pretty consistent in their performances and they are in a position to challenge for promotion.
“They have good strengths and they are also coming off the back of a good result.
“We just want to keep playing at the moment as we feel we're getting close to where we need to be. The more games we play the more we feel results will come.
“It's a big challenge of course, but it's one we will embrace and go there with a positive attitude.
“They made wholesale changes and he's managed to get a formula there that works. He has done it before.
“They are now in a position at this business end of the season that they need to pick up wins and results – and home games are vital.
“But we showed at Cheltenham that we carry a threat. We are creating chances in every game and feel we are getting stronger as a unit defensively.
“We have enough about us to be able to cause Northampton one or two problems. But, of course, we need to be ready for the strengths of Northampton.”