Hakeem Odoffin insists the FA Cup first round defeat at the hands of Lincoln City has not slowed the Cobblers’ momentum as they look to rise up the Sky Bet League Two table.
After two cup games, Town get back down to their bread and butter on Saturday when they travel to fifth-placed Exeter City (ko 3pm), aiming for a fourth straight league win and their fifth in six games.
It is a run of form that has seen Keith Curle’s men open up a 10-point gap between themselves and the basement division’s relegation zone, and to within seven points of the play-off places.
Last Saturday’s cup reverse at Sincil Bank was still something of a setback, but Odoffin believes he and the rest of the Town players will take the positives of their fightback from 2-0 down to 2-2, before being hit with the late sucker punch of a stoppage time winner.
“I think we can take a lot from the fight and character we showed at Lincoln, and we can take it into our next game,” said the former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender.
“It is all about keeping our run going in the league, getting those wins and getting as many points on the board as possible.
I think it has always been within us. But now we are showing it on the pitch which is the most important thing.Cobblers defender Hakeem Odoffin
“We have started to climb the table, and it is now about keeping on climbing, and now we are looking towards Exeter and getting the best result possible.”
One of the glaring differences to the Town team since Curle took over from Dean Austin at the beginning of last month has been the character shown.
The Cobblers have developed a welcome backbone which was evident at Lincoln, even in defeat, and Odoffin says it is a trait the team has always been capable of, they are just only now starting to show it.
“I think it has always been within us,” said Odoffin, when asked about the new-found battling mentality.
“But now we are showing it on the pitch which is the most important thing.
“Now just have to do it again, but unlike last week we can’t wait for the first half or for 60 minutes to get into our game.
“We have to start the game as we mean to go on.”
The trip to Exeter is a tough one for the Cobblers, who will travel down on Friday, but the Grecians have suffered something of a dip in form in recent weeks.
After a flying start to the season, they haven’t won in the league for a month, but Odoffin knows already from his limited experience of life in the bottom division, it is going to be a testing afternoon.
“Against every team in this league, we know it is going to be a tough game,” said the 20-year-old, who has made the right-back slot in the team his own in recent weeks.
“We are up for it, we are ready for it, and we are working to make sure that whatever they bring it is about us doing what we have to do.
“The gaffer has said it is all about doing the simple things well, and that is all we are focusing on.
“We are concentrating on ourselves and what we can do to disrupt them.”