Ricky Holmes says there is no chance of the Cobblers being ‘flash or arrogant’ when the Sky Bet League Two table-toppers take on rock-bottom York City on Saturday.
The Cobblers go into the Sixfields showdown in brilliant form, having won 10 of their past 11 league games, a run that has seen them open up a two-point lead over second-placed Plymouth Argyle, and they also have two games in hand.
But York travel south having seen their form take an upturn in recent weeks.
They were 2-1 winners over Stevenage last weekend, a result that saw them draw level on points with second-from-bottom Dagenham & Redbridge, and Holmes knows they will be a threat to the Cobblers, regardless of their lowly league position.
“Being at the bottom means nothing,” said Holmes, who on Friday was named the Sky Bet League Two player of the month for January.
“I have been at the bottom of the table when I was Barnet, and we have turned teams over who were at the top of the table.
“The game is no gimme. York won their last game on Saturday, so it is going to be tough, as every game is in this league because anybody can beat anybody.
“We won’t go into the game flash, arrogant or anything like that.
“We will do our homework, like we do for every team, and we will work hard to get the win.”
Holmes is also fully aware that nothing has yet been achieved, saying: “There is a hell of a long way to go, and so many points to play for.
“I have seen teams drop off because they thought it was already done, and they have ended up in the play-offs or outside of the play-offs.
“Teams will get momentum as well, we did that last season, so I am sure there are going to be a few surprises.
“We are the big scalp now, we are top of the league and everybody wants to beat us, and we just have to keep believing in ourselves and keep getting our wins.”
The Cobblers will go into the weekend game refreshed after a two-week mid-season break, with last Saturday’s scheduled league two trip to Oxford United postponed due to the Us’ involvement in the FA Cup.
Town were able to have a weekend off as they were beaten in their third-round FA Cup replay at Milton Keynes Dons, who went on to play Premier League champions Chelsea last Sunday.
Karl Robinson’s men were humbled as they were thrashed 5-1 at stadiummk live on BBC1, although Holmes wasn’t watching.
“I didn’t watch the game, but I saw the result and I heard that Chelsea turned up on the day, so maybe it wasn’t a bad thing we didn’t get through!” admitted the Cobblers man, who feels the unscheduled mini break could end up being a massive benefit to him and his team-mates.
“It was disappointing (to lose to MK Dons), but we did get to refresh,” said Holmes.
“It is a tough season, there are a lot of games in this league and we have to refresh when we can, and hopefully we can look forward to the next 19 games and get over the line.
“The break could be a Godsend, because you don’t normally get a break and it is relentless.
“You look at the fixtures this month, we have a lot of away games and are playing Saturday-Tuesday, but thankfully we have strength in depth in the squad.
“That means we might be able to change it at times to freshen things up.”