Chris Wilder believes his side will be crowned Sky Bet League Two champions in the coming weeks because they’ve shown ‘no cracks whatsoever’ despite having to deal with the pressure of leading the table for so long.
With just one defeat in the past 26 games, Wilder’s men have been unrelenting in their pursuit of both promotion and the title, gradually extending their lead to a near unassailable position.
They first topped the table in mid-December following a 4-3 win at Luton Town and after briefly relinquishing it, the Cobblers have led the way since January 23 thanks to a combination of ruthless, clinical attacking football and, more recently, some gritty, backs-to-the-wall performances.
Their latest show of resilience came at Mansfield Town on Monday when they refused to be beaten despite falling 2-0 down for the second successive away game as they fought back to 2-2.
That draw kept Northampton 13 points clear of second-placed Oxford United, with a game in hand, and means they can clinch promotion at home to Notts County this Saturday, providing they win and other results go their way.
Wilder said: “We’ve been at the top of the league for a long time now and we’re there to be shot at, but we’ve shown no cracks whatsoever in terms of results.
“There’s been parts of games where we’ve not been great but this is a ruthless, demanding season, regardless of what else has gone off.
“If we’d have had the best training ground, the best chairman, the best manager, the best players and everything else, it still takes a lot to win a league and takes a lot to get in our position.
“It’s an unforgiving league, as we saw at Mansfield, and yet again we’ve shown all the qualities that I believe will mean we’ll end up as the top team in this division.”
The dominance of this record-breaking Cobblers team can be underlined in the stats they’ve racked up.
Unbeaten in 17, one defeat in 26, undefeated away from home since mid-October and just five losses all season - three of those coming in their first six games of the campaign - says everything about Wilder’s rampaging team.
“We’ll keep going,” he added. “It’s been a great effort all season and we’ve overcome adversity.
“Rain, snow, wind, sunshine, autumn, winter, spring - they’ve been the best team and that’s what they need to keep doing for a little bit longer to get what they deserve.
“Hopefully we’ll have a really good day (on Saturday) and it’ll be a day that will live in the memory for a long time.”