Darran Foster admits he is surprised to see Saturday’s opponents Northwood langushing in the lower reaches of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.
Daventry Town travel to Middlesex as hot favourites to claim a league double over Northwood, who were beaten 1-0 when the sides met at Communications Park back in September.
But Foster will be warning his players they may be in for a tougher than anticipated test.
“I find it strange they are struggling, because when we played them at home in September and beat them 1-0 they were one of the best sides we have played,” admitted Foster.
“They were a young side, very attacking, but as the season has gone on they have lost a couple of players, and they seem to be really struggling now.
“So what to expect from them, I don’t know.
“What we will do is attack the game as we do every other game, it doesn’t matter if we are playing a team at the top of the league or the bottom of the league.
“But as long as we go there and do a job and get the three points that is all that matters.”
Foster has set his side a target of nine points out of nine from their next three games against Northwood, Leighton and North Greenford, who are all in the bottom seven.
The Town boss feels there is no room for error after watching his side drop two points as they drew 0-0 with Aylesbury on Tuesday night. That result came hot on the heels of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Royston, and was a frustration for Foster.
“We battered Aylesbury,” said the Daventry boss. “We have hit the woodwork three times, we have missed a penalty again.
“We have missed three one-on-ones and their goalkeeper has had the game of his lifetime.
“The performance again was exceptional, and the commitment was there. We did everything we could do, but Aylesbury just camped in their 18-yard box in the second half and we couldn’t find the finishing touch.
“Scoring goals has been a problem for a while, but we just have to keep plugging away.
“Aylesbury are not a bad side, and going forward they were decent with a lot of pace, but we should have taken all three points without a doubt.”
As well as missing a hatful of chances in open play, Daventry also missed a penalty - having missed two against Royston.
Robbie Brown was the guilty party on both occasions on Saturday, with skipper Guy Sanders missing against Aylesbury.
“Jamie Gould is my normal penalty taker, but he has been on the bench the past two games,” said Foster.
“He hasn’t missed a penalty all season, and I thought about bringing him on as a special kicker!
“It was a good penalty from Guy, but he hit the bar. It’s one of those things.”