The Cobblers will take their pre-season preparations up another notch on Saturday when they visit National League North outfit and near neighbours Brackley Town for their third of six friendlies (ko 3pm).
And after Northampton were beaten 1-0 by Nuneaton in Tuesday’s keenly-contested encounter, manager Rob Page is hoping for another tough battle in the NFA Maunsell Cup Final.
He said: “We want a competitive test, we don’t want to win games comfortably because it doesn’t give us an idea of where we’re at.
“We want the physical side of it and we want challenges, and certainly Brackley will come under that category on Saturday.
“We’ll be looking to give players more minutes and you’ll see a team that might play an hour, so we’ll build the minutes up and keep working them hard.
“We’re not worried about personnel at the minute and who’s going to play where - it’s about mixing the teams up and giving them the fitness.
“We’re only two weeks into it. by the fifth and sixth games we’ll be looking to have an idea of what we’re doing.”
The Cobblers will definitely be without Jak McCourt at Brackley, with the midfielder facing two months out after he damaged his shoulder in midweek.
Raheem Hanley will be a doubt after he also went off with a thigh muscle problem, while Brendan Moloney, Jason Taylor and Alfie Potter will all be assessed after they missed the loss at Nuneaton.
Admission at Brackley is £6 for adults, £3 for over-60s and students, and it is free for under-18s.