Boss Dean Austin insists he is not feeling any extra weight of expectation as the Cobblers prepare to kick-off the new season as one of the favourites for promotion from Sky Bet League Two.
A summer of steady recruitment, with a clutch of new players being added to an already strong squad, has also led to rising belief among the Cobblers fans that they could be in for another good campaign.
I am not negative with the players, I am always ultra-positive, but I am always looking for things and thinking ‘can I make that a little better? Can we improve?’Cobblers boss Dean Austin
The past two years of league one struggle have been pretty grim viewing, but there is now a genuine air of optimism around the PTS Academy Stadium, with a lot of that down to Austin himself and the way he has galvanised not just the playing staff, but the club as well.
It means great things could be expected of the Town boss and his team, but the 48-year-old says if that’s the case, it won’t affect him at all.
“I have expectation of myself, and football is about winning games,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace defender, who is entering his first season as a manager in the Football League.
“If you are not doing that and winning games, then you are always going to be under pressure, but I put that pressure on myself anyway because I want to win games.
“I want to win just as much as the next man, so I don’t think the expectation from the outside is any extra burden for me to carry around, than the expectation I put on myself.”
And he added: “I was the same as a player, I was never happy even when we won and I played well.
“I always used to find faults in my own performance where I felt I had to improve, and I am exactly the same now as a coach and as a manager.
“I am not negative with the players, I am always ultra-positive, but I am always looking for things and thinking ‘can I make that a little better?
“Can we improve?’
“I work through processes and the team is trying to work through a process at the moment.
“We are trying to change the way we play a little bit, although I won’t go into everything we are trying to do, and it is a longer process for me.
“But I am well aware that I need to win games while I am going through that process.”
The Cobblers kick-off the new season on Saturday, when they host Lincoln City (ko 3pm).