Page says the Cobblers 'have to dream' as Manchester United come to town
Rob Page says the Cobblers 'have to dream' as they prepare to take on troubled Premier League giants Manchester United in the EFL Cup third round at Sixfields on Wednesday night.
The Town boss says he and his players will quickly shrug off Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Chesterfield, the club's first loss in the league since December last year, a run of 31 matches.
The visit of Jose Mourinho's United is enough to focus anybody's attention, and Page is adamant it is a match the Cobblers are capable of winning, despite being massive underdogs.
Mourinho brings his team to Sixfields on the back of three straight defeats suffered in the space of seven days, and in a bit of turmoil.
They were beaten 3-1 at Watford on Sunday lunchtime, a reverse that followed defeats to Manchester City and Feyenoord, and that means the game against Northampton has taken on extra importance for the Old Trafford club.
And Page is aiming to make it another uncomfortable night for Mourinho.
"You have to dream, and you have to believe," said the Cobblers boss, who saw his team knock out Premier League West Bromwich Albion on penalties in round two.
"Like I have said before, we are not a charity, we have earned the right to be at this level of the competition, and we are going to go out and give it absolutely everything we have got to try and win that game.
"We had a glimpse of the atmosphere that can be generated at Sixfields against West Brom, and it was terrific at the end after going through on penalties.
"We want to recreate that on Wednesday. We want to be nice and positive in how we go about the game, and go and give a good account of ourselves."
And he added: "We can't grumble, we can't feel sorry for ourselves even though nobody likes losing games.
"We now have a fantastic opportunity to go and put it right, and to create a fantastic atmosphere at Sixfields on Wednesday night. We are all looking forward to it, and I guarantee we will be ready for it."
Town may have lost their unbeaten record at the Proact Stadium at the weekend, but Page was still upbeat and says it is now all about how the team react to the setback.
"You have to look at the positives, and credit to this football club," said Page.
"It has been a fantastic run, and to take it into this season as well, but we have suffered a defeat and it is now about how we manage that defeat, and we want to bounce back as soon as we can."
More than 700 Cobblers fans made the trip up the M1, and even in defeat they were still singing at the end, celebrating their team's record-breaking run.
"I thought the supporters at the end were absolutely outstanding," said Page. "To cheer like they did at the end and applaud the boys was credit to them, and I thought they were excellent."
Town failed to fire against Chesterfield, and struggled to create clear chances as well as gifting the home team some soft goals.
Spireites boss Danny Wilson felt the Cobblers' main tactic was to thump long balls up towards centre forward Alex Revell, and Page accepted his team did go more direct than he would like after the introduction of Marc Richards to partner Revell for the final 30 minutes.
"We maybe went a little bit direct when Rico come on and we wanted to get the ball forward, because by then they had three in the middle of the park and we didn't outnumber them in there," said the Cobblers boss.
"We had to bypass that a little biut, which goes against the grain and is against what we ask the boys to do, but it is horses for courses sometimes.
"We still wany to try to play, but we also want to get back into the game, and at 2-1 I thought we did that. But then we gave away the third goal and that again was our own doing."