Aidy Boothroyd believes securing a place in the play-offs will be a ‘massive bonus’ for his Cobblers side this season.
Town head to Port Vale on Saturday needing a win and favourable results elsewhere to maintain their dim hopes of automatic promotion.
It is an unlikely prospect - the Valiants can go up themselves with a point and all the talk in their camp has been of overhauling Gillingham for the npower League Two championship.
And while it is still a mathematically possibility that Northampton could finish third, Boothroyd says securing a top-seven place would still be a creditable achievement.
“My mindset at the moment is to get into the play-offs, to cement that,” said the Cobblers boss. “Anything above that would be a bonus and to achieve a play-off finish coming from where we were is a massive bonus as well.
“We are going to go all out to win every single game but we’ll see where it takes us, as simple as that.
“We’ve had a really good season and we just want to finish it off well.”
Town have hit a bad run of form, claiming just a single point from the past 12 available to them and they have failed to score in more than six hours of football.
Such a sequence could hardly have come at a worse time but Boothroyd is confident the team will rediscover their scoring touch and was encouraged by the way they played in the 0-0 draw at Wycombe on Tuesday night.
“Territorially we had the majority of the game at Wycombe,” he said. “They had a couple of chances but overall I thought it was a very strong, solid away performance.
“We deserved to get more out of it than we did. We’re creating chances but we’ve not been scoring the goals – or any goals, in fact – that we were scoring.
“Sometimes you get to a stage where you can’t even get in the other team’s half but we’re not like that. We’re getting chances and it will turn, I’m certain of that.”
One player for whom a change in goalscoring form is badly overdue is Adebayo Akinfenwa. The powerful front man has only scored once in open play since December 8 and sustained a back injury at Wycombe in midweek, although he is expected to play at Vale Park.
“Bayo is a solider and he’ll get on with it,” said Boothroyd. “The pitches are changing at this time of year, they’re getting harder again and we’ve got to adapt to that.
“Sometimes you get knocks that you wouldn’t get on winter pitches because of the way you land but he’ll be all right.”