Despite scoring six goals so far this term, Richards feels he’s yet to reach the heights of last year’s campaign when he netted 18 times in Sky Bet League Two.
He was back to his best on Saturday though, as he produced a superb all-round performance in an excellent Northampton display, scoring the first of three Cobblers goals when he rifled home a 20-yard free-kick.
The 33-year-old said: “I don’t think I’ve played too well this season to be honest. I’ve got a few goals but I don’t feel I’ve found the form I had last year, but on Saturday I think I found it again.
“The gaffer gave me a kick up the bum on Friday and I know I’ve got to start performing a bit better and creating chances and doing what I do best - holding up the ball, linking play and getting on the end of crosses, so hopefully I’ve turned the corner now.
“This game motivated me. It was a massive game and a chance for us to show what we’re capable of against League Two’s top team and I thought we outplayed and outfought them.
“They’re a very direct team but I thought the lads at the back were superb.
“We now need to take confidence from this and be more confident in ourselves going into future games.
“We know we’re a good team, we’ve had a few blips but that’s League Two football – there’s lots of ups and downs and we have to make sure there are more ups than downs.”
Next up for the Cobblers is a trip to League One side Millwall in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this evening – and though Richards is unlikely to start, he remains as keen as ever to feature.
He added: “As a footballer you always want to play. I get paid to train hard and to go out there and perform and that’s exactly what I want to do.
“I hate sitting in the stands and I hate being a sub. At my age the gaffer might not want to risk it but I want to play as many games as I can – but it’s down to the gaffer.”