Cobblers boss Chris Wilder is expecting a big reaction from his players when Plymouth Argyle and their ‘green army’ come to Sixfields on Saturday (ko 3pm).
Town lost their first game of the season on Tuesday night when they were beaten 2-0 at Barnet.
It was a disappointing result from a below-par performance, and Wilder doesn’t anticipate he is going to have to motivate the players to put that result right.
He is confident the squad will do that themselves.
“Knowing what the players are like, they will want to show a reaction from Tuesday,” said the Cobblers boss.
“They were very disappointed about the match and result, and that’s what I want them to be.
“I don’t want them jumping through hoops and running out of changing rooms not caring.
“They care and they want to win. They want to do well for themselves, and they want to do well for the football club.
“I am sure there will be a good reaction on Saturday, but it is not a gimme, it is a tough game.”
Like the Cobblers, Plymouth have gleaned six points from their first three league games, and on Tuesday were emphatic 4-1 winners over Carlisle United at Home Park.
They are sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table, one place above the Cobblers, and have made a good start to the season under new boss Derek Adams, with their only defeat coming at the hands of title favourites Portsmouth last weekend.
Their atacking line is led by the man mountain that is Reuben Reid, but Wilder is well aware they carry other threats as well.
“Reuben Reid scores goals, he scored on Tuesday, and they have some good players at the top of the pitch,” said Wilder.
“They are a big, big club, and it is going to be a game between two teams that will be expected to go well this season.
“It is important that we consolidate our position in and around the top of the table.
“Plymouth are a team with big support and big expectation, and they have good players.
“They will be expected to go well, and be expected to be in and around the top seven or top three, so it is another big test for us.
“We have had a tough start, and we wanted a perfect record, but it’s not to be. Now we want to get ourselves back on track.
“This is a good game to be involved in.
“The atmosphere will be really good, because Plymouth always travel well in terms of support and backing, and it’s a game we are really looking forward to.”
Argyle underwent a surprise change in management in the summer, with John Sheridan deciding to leave the club for personal reasons after guiding the team to the play-off semi-finals.
The new boss is former Ross County manager Derek Adams, and he has used his contacts north of the border to bring in several players to strenghten an already good squad, and Wilder has been impressed with his recruitment.
“Derek Adams is a manager who has had success in Scotland,” said the Cobblers boss.
“The players he has brought in are good players, and have been added to some really good ones that John had.
“I thought John did a fanastic job there.
“It’s a similar job to where we are here, in terms of they were a team that was languishing, a big club in the division, and John had to get them going and push them on.
“He did that. He pushed them on from a really poor position, and then got into the play-offs last season before losing to a decent Wycombe side.
“I should imagine as a manager that was a good job to step into.
“They had good players, and he has added good players to it, and it will be a tough game.”