Winger Daniel Powell says new Cobblers boss Dean Austin has quickly boosted belief and confidence at Sixfields, and given the players attacking freedom.
The 48-year-old was named the new Town boss on Saturday morning. signing a two-year contract to become Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s successor after impressing in a five-match spell in caretaker charge at the end of the Sky Bet League One campaign.
Austin couldn’t stop the team from being relegated though, but Powell is thinking positively as he prepares for life in league two, and made it clear he has been impressed by Austin.
“Since Dean has come in, it has been more positive and results have been gradually getting better,” said the former Milton Keynes Dons man.
“The few wins we had under Dean has given a lot of confidence to the group.
“We know we need to get out of the division next season, and it will be important to get off to a good start, have a good pre-season, and we can kick on then.”
And he added: “Dean has given us belief, more confidence, and we are playing a bit more expansive and creating more chances, and getting a few more goals.
“The wide players definitely had more freedom.
“There is not as much defensive work, which tires you out for going forward, and I think we had better end product and we scored a few more goals. I like to do my stuff at the top of the pitch.”
Austin certainly has plenty to work with, as 23 players are already contracted for next season, and Powell believes it is imperative the squad stays together if the team is to win promotion at the first attempt.
“I think it is important we try and keep as many players together that we have here now,” he said.
“It is going to be tough, but I think if we can do that and keep the squad together we will have a good chance next season.
“I have never played in league two, so this will be my first time, but I know it is a tough league to get out of, but I think we have enough here and that will be our aim.”
Powell enjoyed a mixed first season in Cobblers colours, although he did finish the campaign strongly.
He is now hopping he can show more of what he is all about when the new season kicks off in August.
“The season didn’t start too great, but I think it might have ended up finishing a bit too early for me,” said Powell.
“I started getting into form as Dean came in, and hopefully we can take that into next season.
“My numbers weren’t as good as they have been over the past few seasons, and hopefully I can get more goals and more assists.”