Manager Chris Wilder says the club’s supporters have a big role to play in driving the Cobblers to the victory they need against Cambridge United at Sixfields on Easter Monday (ko 3pm).
The Town boss accepts that three points are a must if his side are to maintain an interest in the race for the Sky Bet League Two play-offs, and he is calling on the fans to inspire their team to victory against struggling United.
Almost 800 supporters made the trip to AFC Wimbledon on Good Friday, and helped roar their side to a 2-2 draw, with them having been 2-0 down after an hour.
And Wilder wants a red-hot atmosphere at Sixfields on Monday, especially as some of his players may be beginning to feel the affects of a long and hard season, and a hectic Easter weekend.
“We drove the game forward in the second half at Wimbledon, were committed, and I think up and down the country that is what the fans in English football want to see,” said Wilder.
“We can be proud of our efforts recently, and although we’re not getting carried away we can look forward to a big game on Monday.
“I’m told Cambridge have sold out their allocation, and if we can get a big crowd in through the gate then that will give the lads a big boost.
“These are the times, with tired legs and two games over three days, the crowd have got a massive part to play in helping push the lads on.
“If the atmosphere is anything like it was for the match against Luton Town, then the boys will relish that and we can go for the jugular and get the three points that will get us right in the mix.
“It is going to be a tough task against Cambridge.
If we can get a result, get a win, then we will have taken four points from the two games over Easter, and that is a decent returnCobblers boss Chris Wilder
“But we are desperate for a win, and if we can get a result, get a win, then we will have taken four points from the two games over Easter, and that is a decent return.”
Wilder was delighted with the attitude of his players in the draw at Wimbledon, even though he wasn’t as impressed with the defending that allowed the south Londoners to open up a 2-0 lead.
And he believes he, his players, and the club are heading in the right direction.
“I believe we are producing a side that gives a lot for the football club, and the shirt, and I believe supporters want to see that commitment,” said the Town boss.
“I think they want to see front-foot football, and we played more like that in the second half at Wimbledon.
“If you were at the game on Friday, you will have seen a team give absolutely everything for the club, for each other, for the staff, and that is a fantastic sign for us going forward.
“It’s not like it was when we walked through the door, with people jacking it in and white flags going up all over the place.
“We have a group here, that if we don’t achieve this year, then we are certainly on the right track going forward in terms of getting out of this division, I truly believe that.”
Against Cambridge, Diego Di Girolamo is set to to feature having missed the past two games with a thigh strain, while left-back Evan Horwood may also start, having not played since the 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers on March 14.