Brackley Town boss Jon Brady believes Cobblers can win promotion from Sky Bet League Two this season.
But he is backing his players to put up a real fight against Chris Wilder’s men at St James’ Park on Saturday. Conference North side Saints and the Cobblers square up in the Maunsell Cup final. And Brady said: “It’s a hell of a test to be honest. It was a great result for them against Birmingham and they look strong. “I’ve had a look at their YouTube highlights because we don’t know too much about them due to the fact we’ve been concentrating on what we’ll face in our league. “It’s a competition game and one we’d like to try to win. “We know it will be hugely difficult because of the gulf between the levels but we’ve proven in the past that we can compete with teams at that level and above. “Chris will definitely be using it as a pre-season friendly and getting a work-out for his players, although we can only use seven subs because it is the Maunsell Cup.” Brackley beat Cobblers in the Maunsell Cup final back in 2011 as Elliot Sandy’s second-half strike gave them victory. But Brady said: “We beat them 1-0 when Gary Johnson was manager and we were the better team on the day, but Chris and Northampton will do exceptionally well this year. “I really hope they get promotion, but hopefully we can give them a very competitive game on Saturday.”