Chris Wilder has stressed the Cobblers have taken huge strides forward under his management.
And the Town boss is adamant they can still finish this season with a flourish as they prepare for a crucial final five games in Sky Bet League Two.
Wilder’s side were beaten 1-0 by Cambridge United at Sixfields on Monday, leaving them five points adrift of the play-off places.
But the manager was happy with the attitude and desire his players showed and he feels it is a stark improvement on how Cobblers were playing before his arrival in January last year.
“I was watching Northampton a year and a half ago and that would have been a three or four nil defeat on Monday,” said former Oxford United boss Wilder, who steered Town to safety last season.
“But it wasn’t and we’ve given it a right go.
“As a manager, I think ‘have we pushed the opposition and have they come off thinking ‘have we had to work to earn that result?’.
“One thing I hate, especially here, is that people walk away with three points and they’ve not had to work hard for it.
“They’ve had to put everything on the line to get those points on Monday.
“We’re bitterly disappointed that we’ve not got the result we want - me, the players, the chairman and, most importantly, the supporters.
“But we go again at Stevenage this weekend, we’ll give it a right go and I’ve never seen a season out at any club, because that’s just now the way I’m built.
“We’re going to go right to the end, to the very last minute of the very last game because we’ve got a responsbility to go right to the end and give the supporters 100 per cent commitment.
“Who knows? There’s still five games left, 15 points to play for and we know we can win.
“If we walk off the pitch this week with a win, all of a sudden we’re back into it.
“We’ll go again full of confidence, full of drive.”