Midfielder Sam Foley has challenged the Cobblers to make a statement of their Sky Bet League Two intent when they travel to high-flying Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday (ko 3pm).
There is a feelgood factor around the PTS Academy Stadium thanks to a four-match unbeaten run, with new boss Keith Curle having made an immediate impact after being given the top job fewer than three weeks ago.
MK Dons are sitting nicely at the top end of the table, and if we have any aspirations of being there ourselves we have to put teams like that awayCobblers midfielder Sam Foley
Still a lowly 19th in the league two standings, last weekend’s dramatic last-gasp win over the previously unbeaten Forest Green Rovers has increased belief within the Town squad, and Foley insists there is ‘nothing to be afraid of’ ahead of the short trip to Stadium MK.
Dons have lost just once in the league this season, are unbeaten at home, and moved up to fourth in the table with their 1-0 win at Cambridge United last weekend, which was their third in a row in the league.
In Chuks Aneke they possess the in-form striker in league two, having scored seven goals in his past eight games, but Foley said: “There is nothing to be afraid of.
“As far as we are concerned, we don’t want to be where we are in the league, but we are there for a reason and we have to try to get ourselves out.
“MK Dons are sitting nicely at the top end of the table, and if we have any aspirations of being there ourselves we have to put teams like that away.
“At their place it is not going to be easy, no games are every easy at this level between anyone, so we have to go there and have a positive mindset and try to win.
“They have done well so far and are sitting nicely in the league, and they are picking up results which is important. So we will show them the respect that we pay every club that we play.
“But when it comes down to it we have to look at ourselves and how we can affect the match, it’s as simple as that.”
The win over Forest Green was Town’s first at home this season, and came off the back of league draws with Bury and Swindon, as well as a Checkatrade Trophy win at Oxford United, and Foley says there is now a real spring in the steps of the Cobblers players.
“The boys will be looking forward to the game, and I know I certainly am,” said the former Port Vale man.
“I enjoyed the result at the weekend, but on Monday my thoughts turned to the next game, which is MK Dons.
“It is a bit of a local derby, and I am aware of what has happened in the past and that it is a really big game.”