Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has warned his players against being over confident as they travel to an out-of-form Oxford United on Saturday.
Town are unbeaten in their past five games, claiming two wins and three draws across three different competitions, and the confidence and belief is beginning to grow among the Sixfields squad.
We have to go into the match with lots of confidence, yes, but you can’t over-confident because that is a dangerous thingCobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
It’s a different story for Oxford, who after solid start to the campaign have hit the buffers a little, failing to win any of their past five games, and losing three on the spin.
They have also won only one of their past seven games at their Grenoble Road ground, so on paper at least it appears to be a good time to take on Pep Clotet’s side.
Does the Cobblers manager agree with that?
“Is it a good time to play them? Everybody knows how these things are, and we need to just get back to our way, and to keep on trying to build,” said Hasselbaink.
“We have to keep on trying to make it difficult for teams, and make it easier for us.
“We need to keep on pinching confidence from games, and keep on trying to make steps forwards and to keep it positive.
“We need to learn from our mistakes, but also keep on doing the good things we are doing.
“We have to go into the match with lots of confidence, yes, but you can’t over-confident because that is a dangerous thing.
“We have to respect Oxford, we have to understand they are a very good team, and we need to get into the habit that it doesn’t matter who is in front of us, that we always put in a good performance.
“If you get a good performance then you have a really big chance of winning a match, and that is what we need to do.”
The Cobblers have won on their two previous visits to Oxford, with Marc Richards scoring the only goal in 1-0 wins in the past two seasons.
Indeed, Oxford haven’t beaten the Cobblers in any of the past five meetings between the clubs, and have failed to score in the past four.
The most recent Cobblers defeat at the hands of United was on October 21, 2014, when Chris Wilder’s team were beaten 3-1 at Sixfields.