Boss Chris Wilder is calling on the Sixfields supporters to ‘inspire’ the Cobblers to victory in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two showdown with Portsmouth.
A full-house is expected for the game between the leaders and fourth-placed team, with Pompey having sold out their 900-strong allocation well in advance.
Portsmouth’s fans are renowned for their vociferous backing of their team, and Wilder is calling on the home fans to drown them out and rally the Cobblers players.
“Portsmouth will fill their end, and we have done outstandingly well on our away games in terms of the travelling support that we have had,” said Wilder.
“If we can make this place full from our end, from our supporters, it would be great because the atmosphere we get, and the noise we do generate when this place is full is inspiring for the players.
“We need to be on the top of our game on Saturday to get a result, but it is a game we are massively looking forward to.”
Portsmouth come to Sixfields having lost just two league games all season, but too many draws means they are six points behind the table-topping Cobblers.
Paul Cook has done an excellent job at Fratton Park since taking over in the summer after leaving Chesterfield, who he had guided to the Sky Bet League Two title and then league one play-offs in successive seasons
Wilder is an admirer of the Liverpudlian’s style of management, and admitted he was initially surprised when he left Chesterfield to drop back into the Football League’s basement division.
But he believes Cook was looking at the bigger picture and into what Pompey is capable of in the future whe he made the switch.
“I have know Paul a long time, and I have seen a lot of his teams over the past two or three years when he went up with Chesterfield, and then got them into the play-off semi-finals last year when I thought they were really unlucky to lose,” said Wilder.
“It was an outstanding effort, and in one way I was really surprised when he left there.
“I think Paul would have eventually stepped into Championship management, and when he made the decision to go to Portsmouth, I thought ‘wow, he’s taking a step back’. But is he?
“He is taking a step forward in his view, he will have his reasons for going there, and he has taken a step forwards in terms of the fact Portsmouth is a Championship club.
“They have all the makings of going on, and going on again, and they are placed well.”