Joe Widdowson is setting his sights on a return to pre-season training in full fitness after finishing last season with a niggling knee injury.
Widdowson was ruled out of the final two games of the regular campaign, both play-off ties against Cheltenham and did not start the Wembley final against Bradford City, although he did play 40 minutes as a second-half substitute.
It was an unhappy end to what was a very good first season in Northampton colours for Widdowson, who signed from Rochdale last summer and who was one of the team’s most consistent performers throughout.
Now the 23-year-old left-back is hoping to get the sufficient rest his knee requires before hitting the ground running when the squad return for training on June 28.
“I’ve got four or five weeks now to rest up and be right for pre-season and the injury I’ve got needs that sort of healing time,” he said.
“As a player you always want to be out there playing and helping the team but unfortunately injuries are just part and parcel of football and as I say mine came at the worst possible time for me.
“As a team and as a group we want to go up and for me personally I just want to maintain and improve my own performance levels.
“There are always things you can work on and improve and I think even the most experienced pros will tell you that there are aspects of their game that they can improve upon.
“First and foremost I want to make sure that I am playing week in week out, defending and attacking well and hopefully my first goal for the club isn’t too far away.”
Despite the agony of the team’s performance in the Wembley final (they were well beaten 3-0 by Bradford City), Widdowson insists his dominant memories of the 2012-13 campaign will be positive ones.
“It was obviously a disappointing way to finish the season but overall I enjoyed the season a lot.
“Unfortunately we didn’t’ get promotion but we will go again next season.
“I was disappointed to miss the run-in and it was the worst possible time for me to get injured.”