Cobblers manager Chris Wilder has heaped praise on Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett ahead of the Sixfields meeting between the sides on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The east Londoners come to Northampton sitting second bottom in Sky Bet League Two, without a win and with just two points to their name after difficult start to the campaign.
But Wilder is not about to take notice of their lowly position in the table, and is anticipating a difficult afternoon as his own side target their first league win since August 15.
Burnett, in Wilder’s opinion, has, and is doing, a great job in charge of the Daggers, and he expects him to continue doing so.
“Managers get judged on results, but sometimes you should look at the bigger picture, and I know what a really good job Wayne Burnett does down there because he works hard,” said Wilder.
“He has to go out and find players, and then work hard and develop them on the training field.
“He works extrememely hard on and off the pitch to get a group together, and they have not had a great start and he will want to put that right.
“To keep Dagenham in the League year on year as he has done, and John Still before him, is a really good achievement.
“For Dagenham to get into league one as they did was an unbelievable achievement, because they have basically always been a non-League side throughout their history.
“So for John to start it and then for Wayne to step in, keeping them in the league is an achievement, but he will want to do more than that and will want to be mid-table and pressing.
“They will be looking to kick-start their season, and we have to be wary of that.”
Likely to lead Dagenham’s attacking line at Sixfields is Jamie Cureton, who is still going strong despite turning 40 last week.
Cureton has been a professional footballer for more than 23 years, and has scored 279 goals in a career spanning 619 starts and 183 substitute appearances for 14 different clubs - and he is still going strong.
He is off the mark this season, having netted in Dagenham’s 3-1 home defeat against Leyton Orient, and he scored 20 times in 48 appearances for them last time around.
Cureton will run out on Saturday an amazing 18 years after his first appearance at Sixfields for Bristol Rovers in November, 1997, when he scored in a 1-1 draw, and Wilder believes he will be the visitors’ main threat all these years later.
“Wayne Burnett has picked up Jamie Cureton from Cheltenham, and he has put legs around him in the team,” said the Cobblers boss.
“They have to get value for money, and fair play to him, Cureton has had an outstanding career.
“To get up every morning and still want to be a professional footballer at 40 speaks volumes for him, and we know he is a threat.
“He will get opportunities, and we will definitely be talking about him before the game, and about his movement.
“You see some of the goals he has scored, and we have to be aware because he is a major threat to us.
“I believe if we can keep him quiet, and their front four quiet, if we can wrap them up then that will be the key as we believe we have players going the other way that can hurt them as well.”
Dagenham are likely to include two former Cobblers players in their starting line-up on Saturday, with Joe Widdowson playing in defence and Kane Ferdinand in midfield.