SEASON PREVIEW: Optimism and excitement abound as Cobblers bid to bounce back
When the Cobblers step out onto the pitch for Saturday's opening game of the season against Lincoln City, they will do so with the expectation of mounting a serious promotion push back to League One.
The disappointment, anger and frustration following their avoidable relegation back in May has gradually seeped away over a summer of surprisingly little change, replaced by intrigue, optimism and, above all, excitement for what lies ahead.
The trouble with the start of any new football season is that it comes with so many unknowns and while pre-season form can occasionally be a good guide, it is often misleading once the real stuff starts.
But for the Cobblers, there are reasons to be upbeat. The squad looks strong, the manager has said all the right things and the mood is one of confidence ahead of Lincoln’s visit.
Here, we assess how Town are shaping up for the new campaign.