A change in mentality has been the key reason behind the Cobblers’ transformation from relegation candidates to top-half hopefuls, according to manager Justin Edinburgh.
Edinburgh stressed the need to improve Town’s mentality in his first days in charge, which came only weeks after previous boss Rob Page made a similar criticism before his sacking.
Cobblers had conceded six late winners this season prior to Edinburgh’s appointment, and again against Oldham recently, but having beaten both AFC Wimbledon and Port Vale via late goals in a matter of days, it seems the Cobblers are becoming fitter and mentally stronger.
“The players have really changed their mentality,” said Edinburgh, whose side recorded three straight league wins for the first time this season when they edged past Vale 2-1 on Tuesday.
“Six or seven weeks ago we might have lost that game, but I think we’ve learnt.
“The credit for that goes to the players because they truly have a belief and the fitness is improving all of the time.”
Asked how he’s gone about that transformation, the Cobblers boss said: “I think you go to the training, you try and recreate scenarios and you try and make players go to places in terms of fitness where they’ll go on match days.
“They have to revisit things.
“If they don’t know or haven’t been in a scenario that will reoccur on a match day, then they’re not going to know it so that’s what we try to do.
“We try to recreate the intensity, the tempo and scenarios that will happen on a match day in training.”
Now up to 14th and 11 points clear of the bottom four, Town can start to focus on perhaps pushing for a top-half finish.
That would be a turnaround from the struggles in the final couple of months under Page.
“We’re certainly heading in the right direction,” said Edinburgh.
“There are a lot of games to play but my focus is making sure we finish this season strongly and we try to win as many matches as possible and we continue to perform at a level.
“Then, if we can’t do that, we find a way of winning games and this is what the group is doing.
“There’s a lot of football to be played and a lot of points on offer and we want to try and see if we can finish as high as we possibly can.”
The Cobblers are next in action on Saturday when they travel to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers.