Clive platt believes the key to establishing a promotion push will be the team’s ability to take points from games in which they do not play well.
And Platt is confident such a challenge can be mounted, with the squad in good shape and likely to improve further in January.
The Cobblers’ scheduled clash with Gillingham today (Sat) has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, but next month sees not only the reopening of the transfer window but also the predicted return of some of the squad’s most experienced players, with David Artell, Luke Guttridge and John Johnson due back from injury.
The squad will be substantially deepened by their returns and any other new arrivals when the window reopens, with a permanent deal for on-loan York City centre-back Clarke Carlisle on the agenda.
“We’re definitely well placed,” said Platt, who is starting to enjoy his football but still takes pain killers after each match to help with a long-standing back injury.
“We’ve got some good quality players, we’ve added well through the season and the gaffer might bring in a few more in January.
“I just think we’ve got a great squad and it would be a shame if we didn’t do something this season.
“Everyone has got that expectation but we’ve got to pick up points regardless of how we are playing, that’s how you get promoted.”
Last Saturday’s win over Aldershot might fall into the category.
Although the Cobblers were almost at full tilt straight away as they looked to crumbled their opponents with their feted set-piece game, the Shots grew into the match and could have scored on a number of occasions.
Defensive resilience and commitment were key factors, as was the team’s ability to learn how to play on a soft and deteriorating pitch, just as they had seven days earlier, in the 1-1 draw at Torquay.
“Saturday’s game wasn’t pretty and we knew it was going to be difficult but we played in something similar against Torquay the week before,” said Platt.
“But for a couple of little mistakes we’d have won that game and the gaffer made those points to us for the Aldershot game.
“We took all that on board and played the conditions.”
The Aldershot game was one that frustrated Platt for its duration but that ended on a high for the big striker.
Despite being regularly punished by the referee for minor indiscretions, and having a first-half goal ruled out for offside, Platt stuck to his task and was rewarded with an injury-time second to secure the three points.
“I wasn’t entirely sure I was offside for the first one and I’d like to have another look at that one,” he said.
“For the goal itself it was a ball over the top and there were three defenders there but none of them seemed to want to take control of the situation so I just nicked it past the keeper.”
It was not an award winner, but they all count. Just like league points when the team doesn’t play well.