Cobblers boss Dean Austin admits he is facing a huge challenge to change the mentality of the club following two years of underachievement and disappointment.
Since Chris Wilder left the club in the days following the Sky Bet League Two title triumph in May, 2016, things haven’t gone to plan on or off the pitch.
Rob Page, Justin Edinburgh and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink have all tried and failed to get the team winning on a regular basis despite plenty of investment in players, with the team sliding back into league two in May following relegation.
Austin is the fourth man since Wilder’s departure to be tasked with resurrecting the fortunes of the Cobblers, and he too has struggled to get things moving in the right direction.
The team has played well enough at times so far this season, and is creating plenty of chances, but the harsh reality is the Cobblers have won just one of their eight games, and have yet to win on home soil.
They are back at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday when they host fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town, a game the Cobblers are favourites to win, and a game they should win.
But that, as everybody knows, is easier said than done, although Austin is confident the team’s fortunes are on the brink of turning.
“We are really looking forward to Saturday’s game,” said the Cobblers boss.
“The way we work, we are trying to inch our way to improving a little bit more every day.
“We have played very well so far this season, but we have turn that dominance into wins, and that is what we have to aim to do.
“We have to get to the stage where we are packing this place out, where our punters want to come and watch us play, they enjoy watching us play, but they enjoy watching us win, which is the most important thing.
“I think last season there was a different philosophy, or a different way of playing, where the style was a little bit more on the back foot and trying to soak up pressure.
“I have changed that because if you keep letting teams come on to you all of the time, then sooner or later you are going to come up short.
“For me it is all about a mindset and mentality, and the fact is that since Chris has left this club, it has lost too many games of football, and the mentality has to change.
“Only we can change that, and that’s the thing we talk about a lot, but if we keep working the way we are working, that work will turn into results.
“When those results come, then you can start to really change the mentality.”