Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd says the Cobblers have ‘a duty to the Football League’ to go all out for victory in their game against Barnet at Sixfields on Saturday.
Town wrap up their regular season with the Bees’ visit, which will decide their final position in npower League Two and establish who they face in the end-of-season play-offs.
Barnet need to better AFC Wimbledon’s result against Fleetwood to ensure they remain in the Football League, and will name a strong side with the intention of winning the match.
It had been suggested that Boothroyd would rest some of his squad to ensure they do not pick up any injuries for the play-off matches but he has confirmed Kelvin Langmead and Clive Platt could get some minutes after recovering from injury.
And the manager will resist such a policy as he looks to put some form together for a team that have not won in five games but whose performances have improved in recent weeks.
“We have a duty to ourselves and to the Football League to go into this game looking to put the score right,” said Boothroyd, whose players were beaten 4-0 at Underhill in October in a match he confesses left him feeling the lowest since he became manager at Northampton.
“We got a real slap in the face down at Barnet earlier in the season.
“We will be going all out to try to get the three points and it is important to focus on this game 100 per cent, it would be very wrong to do anything else.
“You can’t just switch good form on and off like a light switch.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re focused for every single game and we’ll do that because that’s the pattern we’ve been in.
“We won’t do anything differently this week to what we’ve done for the rest of the season, there’s been a good energy about the players and they are playing for places in the side.”
Boothroyd is excited about the prospect of his side featuring in the play-offs and being involved in big games at Sixfields that involve promotion rather than the battles against relegation of recent years.
The manager feels his team learned a lot about themselves in their most recent home game, a 2-0 defeat to York, and that they also benefited from a difficult period during last week’s game at Port Vale.
“Thursday is a big day for us, but Saturday is more important because it comes first,” he said.
“We’re expecting a full house here at Sixfields and we need to make sure we win the game.
“At Port Vale I thought we played really well and deserved to take more out of the game than we did.
“But there was a period in the game when we didn’t do things properly and we were a little bit shaky and we have to use that as something to learn from for the play-offs.
“Those are the kind of games you’re going to be playing in and in every game there’s a lesson to be learned.”