Rob Page is banking on new loan signings Gregg Wylde and Hiram Boateng putting a youthful spring in the Cobblers step.
The pair joined the club this week from Millwall and Crystal Palace respectively, and both are likely to feature at the Memorial Stadium.
Wylde made his debut as a second-half substitute in Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Bradford City, but Boateng had to sit that one out as he awaited clearance to play, which has now been granted.
Whether both will start against the Gas is up to Page, but the manager is keen to utilise the energy and pace of 25-year-old winger Wylde and central midfielder Boateng, who turns 21 on Sunday.
The Cobblers ended Monday’s game with six players aged 30-plus in their 11, and Page says his squad’s lack of energy has become a bit of an issue as the games have come thick and fast over the festive period.
“It has been evident in recent weeks,” said Page. “We have changed to a 4-4-2, I think the second half against Bolton was the first time we did that, and we have had some positive results.
“But to do that, you need some legs in the middle of the park, and I think that is where it has caught up with us a little bit, because of the age of some of the lads in the team.
“By bringing two youthful players in, it brings you legs.
“With Gregg, he wants to go down the outside, and I think we saw a glimpse of it the other day (against Bradford) when he ghosted past the full-back and then just overhit his pass out towards Sam Hoskins.
“So we saw a glimpse of what he can do.
“With Boateng, he is a warrior in the middle of the park. He will break play up, he can see a pass, he can get box-to-box and he has experience at this level as well.
“It is two good additions in my opinion.”
Wylde was on the bench on Monday, while Boateng joined in the pre-match warm-up, and although it wasn’t a great day for the Cobblers, Page says the duo have quickly taken to Sixfields life.
“They are both settling in well, although it was not a great introduction to the football club with the game the other day, and everything surrounding it,” said Page.
“But that is part of football and we all know that, it comes with the territory of being a player and a manager.
“It is a challenge both players are looking forward to, and only having worked with them a short time, they are great lads, and I think they are going to be a benefit and bring something different to the team for us.”