Cambridge boss Richard Money believes the Cobblers’ off-field woes will only serve to galvanise the Northampton players and manager Chris Wilder ahead of Saturday’s big match at the Abbey Stadium.
The United boss is well aware of the financial problems currently overshadowing Sixfields, but he doesn’t believe it will have a adverse affect of the Cobblers’ performance - indeed he thinks it will be the opposite and they will develop a ‘siege mentality’.
“Saturday is a tough one, because Northampton are in good form,” said Money.
“They have got a settled team and are moving forward in the right direction on the pitch.
“I know they reportedly have troubles off the pitch, but those situations always seem to galvanise players and the management staff, and they are doing a pretty good job at the minute.
“It’s a big issue (the financial troubles) for the club, but when you’re a manager or player it flies over your head.
“I guess you get a bit of a siege mentality where it’s almost like the worse the problem, the stronger people get.
“I’m sure Chris will be talking to their chairman and I’m sure he’ll know what the issue is, but day to day he’ll just be concerned with his squad.
“In my opinion, they’ll be one of the teams that will be up there contesting and they’ve got some good players.
“It’s not too dissimilar to last week’s game against Portsmouth, so it’s going to be another tough challenge for us, especially when we’re going to be weakened significantly.”
Cambridge are a club with problems of their own, although theirs are centered on the field of play.
The Us invested heavily in their playing staff over the summer, and hopes were high that they would be challenging for promotion this season.
It hasn’t worked out that way yet, with Money’s squad being hit badly by injury and suspensions, with three players having been sent-off in the past six games.
Skipper and central defender Mark Roberts was the latest to be red-carded in the 3-1 defeat against Portsmouth last weekend, and his ban adds to the Us’ defensive woes.
Leon Legge has been ruled out for a month with a groin injury, Josh Coulson is out with a calf problem and Elliot Omozusi is set to miss the Cobblers game after having an operation on an infected tooth.
Goalkeeper Chris Dunn is out as well, and George Taft is also struggling with a groin problem, but they have brought in Leicester City central defender Allie Sessay on loan.
The injury list is a real headache for Money, who is hoping his own club’s problems can also see his team create a bit of a siege mentality.
“We are a little bit the same (as Northampton) in that in adversity, you have to get stronger,” said the Cambridge boss.
“I think the players are frustrated, as we all are, that they know they are a decent group.
“They know there is a good team there, but we just can’t seem to get the same team on the pitch twice, and we can’t get enough of the key players fit and well, all at the same time.
“That means we are juggling and scrambling a little bit.
“We have more adversity this weekend, and hopefully it can galvanise the group even more.
“If we play as we did in the first 45 minutes last Saturday, then we are going to give ourselves a chance to get a result this weekend.
“But we are going to have to be that good, because Northampton are in good form.
“This is not a local derby, but Northampton are just up the road and will probably bring more than 1,000 supporters.
“The atmosphere will be good in the stadium, and we will try and give the value we think we should give to our supporters, certainly in terms of commitment, endeavour and attitude.
“That is all we can ask from the team, without knowing how they are going to play.
“But if we bring that and play well, then there’s the chance it will be a good afternoon for everyone.”