Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd wants his side to rediscover their true identity in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two game against Newport County at Sixfields (3pm ko).
Town begin their Sixfields league campaign with a difficult-looking fixture against an Exiles side that have won both of their games so far this term.
Northampton’s first home game of the season resulted in a 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Milton Keynes Dons that left Boothroyd furious.
His main issue was that the team bore few of the hallmarks he has come to expect as bare minimums - hard work and intensity - were not present.
And that concern has formed the backbone of his pre-match preparations for the weekend.
“I want our team to be a difficult team to play against,” he said. “I want us to play attacking football, I want us to be strong and I want us to win consistently no matter how we play.
“I didn’t think those attributes that have come to be part of our identity, in terms of a work ethic and organisation, were shown for a full 90 minutes on Tuesday.
“When we did put our foot on the gas and have a bit of a go at it we showed that we could create chances and score goals.
“Initially we had 11 players looking to each other and only three or four of them stood up to it before we really got going.”
Boothroyd faces a selection dilemma for the Newport game, with Darren Carter back in the fold after completing his one-game suspension for a debut sending-off at York.
He was also encouraged by the efforts of midweek substitutes Ishmel Demontagnac, Ivan Toney and David Moyo, and could shake things up in a bid to secure the first win of the season.
“I’ll be picking people on performances in the games and in training,” he said. “Those who have been doing it will get in and those who don’t, won’t.”