Giles Coke is in line to make his first start for the Cobblers - but insists he is not a direct replacement for Bradley Johnson.
Coke played the final half-an-hour of last week's defeat at Leeds United, a club Johnson has since signed for in a six-figure transfer deal.
Johnson's exit has smoothed the way for Coke to come straight into midfield, although manager Stuart Gray has plenty of options in that department with Ryan Gilligan fit again.
The Town boss also took a second loan player this week, adding Wolves right-back Mark Little to the earlier signing of winger Jonathan Hayes from Leicester.
Coke showed glimpses of his talents at Elland Road, but has warned supporters not to expect him to be as attack-minded as Johnson.
"We're similar in ways," he said. "I like getting forward like Brad does, but I like defending as well.
"I think Brad is very attack-minded. He loves scoring his goals and he is always in the other team's penalty area.
"I'm more about the other side of the game so we're similar in some ways but we're also very different in a lot of ways.
"In a way I can come in and replace him but I'm a different sort of player and I'm my own man."
Gray wants to get Coke playing regularly, the main reason being that he is a player the club parted with cash for, an investment they are keen to see the results of.
The manager also said the former Mansfield man has shown a real hunger to be involved, and after a full shift for the reserves at Southend on Monday, Gray is ready to put his faith in Coke.
"Giles has played 90 minutes for the reserves so there's a good chance he will start," he said.
"With us losing Bradley (Johnson) there's a position open in central midfield for someone to come in.
"Whether that be Giles or Ryan Gilligan, I want people chomping at the bit to play and that's what Giles has been doing.
"Ryan played 90 minutes for the reserves as well and there was nothing wrong with his knee, the scan just showed some minor brusing so he's in the frame."