He’s a player who’s happy to quietly go about his business while others take all the plaudits but make no mistake, David Buchanan has played a vital role in Cobblers’ success this season.
Far from the most flashy of players, the gritty left-back is the only Northampton man to feature in every game this term, even accounting for all the cup competitions, having joined the club from Preston North End last summer.
While manager Chris Wilder rotates his squad during this busy period, the one position he never has to worry about is the left-back slot thanks to Buchanan’s consistency and impressive fitness.
The 29-year-old is equally effective in both attack and defence, providing several assists at one end while keeping the opposition out at the other, although his maiden Cobblers goal remains elusive.
That’s no concern to the man himself, however, as long as he’s contributing to Northampton’s success.
“It’d be nice to get a goal but in my position I get paid to keep clean sheets and if I can get a few assists as I’ve done this season, then that’s part of my job,” said Buchanan.
“From the first interview I did when I first signed for this club, I’ve said that I want to help us get the best defence in the league and if we can keep the most clean sheets come the end of the season, that’ll be my job done and if we can get promotion, that’ll be a fantastic achievement.
“That was my vision when I signed for this club and it’s coming true at the moment.”
An indication of just how highly Wilder and co rate Buchanan is evident in the fact he has been made captain in the absence of club skipper Marc Richards.
It’s a role which he relishes, adding: “Of course I enjoy it and it’s always a proud moment to be made captain of your club.
“I’m really happy that the gaffer trusts me and I have the respect of the dressing room to be the vice-captain and then the captain when Marc is not available.”
Despite now holding a seismic 19-point lead over fourth-placed Accrington Stanley, Buchanan insists he and his team-mates are not thinking about the possibility of promotion, instead focusing on one game at a time.
He added: “We’re not talking about promotion, we’re talking about getting as many points as possible from the remaining games.
“There are 12 games to go and we’ll be fighting for three points in every single one of those and at the end of the season, whether we get promotion or win the title, it’ll be a fantastic achievement for this football club if we manage it.
“All the hard work the lads and the management have put in since the start of the season has put us in a fantastic position.”
Buchanan produced another solid display during Tuesday’s thrilling 1-1 draw against AFC Wimbledon as John-Joe O’Toole’s first-half opener was cancelled out by a fine finish from Lyle Taylor on the hour-mark.
Despite further chances in an open, end-to-end second half, there was to be no winning goal as the Cobblers were held to their second successive draw after 10 straight wins.
“On reflection I think we deserved to win the game,” added Buchanan. “But let’s give them a bit of credit because they’re a good side themselves who are in good form and they came here and pressed us and the front two are quick, strong lads.
“We always like to win at Sixfields but it was two form teams in the league going at each other and it was an entertaining game for the fans.
“Looking at the results, I think it’s a point gained because it’s one games less and we’re one point better off than we were at the start of the night, so it’s a step in the right direction.”
Tuesday’s clash was Northampton’s sixth game in 17 days but ahead of a long trip up north to Carlisle United on Saturday, Buchanan played down any fears of fatigue setting in.
“We’re a fit bunch whoever plays,” he continued. “The team is as strong as ever and we’ll be ready come the next game because the lads do it right on and off the pitch and that’s one reason why we’re top of the league.
“Carlisle are another team in form and I thought they were one of the better teams when they came here. They really took the game to us and have experienced players in the side and like to get the ball down and play football.
“But every team we play against we know what strengths we have, and on our day we can hurt anybody.”