Cobblers boss Chris Wilder says his improving team has to grab its chance to shine when the Sky Bet League Two season kicks off in August.
With the Town squad returning for pre-season training at Sixfields on Monday, boosted by new signings such as Nicky Adams and Alfie Potter and more on the way, Wilder is full of optimism that the new campaign can be a successful one for his team.
Expectations are high that last season’s 12th-place finish will be bettered, with Wilder confident a promotion challenge can be launched.
That confidence comes from a strong second-half to last season, despite the fact things did fizzle out over the closing matches as a chance at a play-off place was spurned.
Wilder is positive his team can go better in the new campaign though, understands why the club’s fans may feel the same, and says Northampton is a club ‘going forwards’.
But he also stresses that success will only come from ‘extremely hard’ work.
“I think the fans have seen the changes that we have made over the past 18 months, where we have been, and where we are trying to go to,” said the Cobblers boss.
“The signings we have made, the football we have played, especially since Christmas, and it is a new squad.
“It is my squad now, and I would like to think I will be judged on this squad now.
“I am positive and enthsiastic, and I am sure that the people who have followed us last season will see the same signs I am seeing.
“I know the chairman is, but we have to work extremely hard because nothing is given to you in this game.
“We have to go out and grab it, but we feel there are a lot of good things happening at the club.
“It’s not a club going backwards, it’s going forwards, we have improved and we want to keep on improving.
“If we do that, then I am sure we can be in the mix and it can be an exciting and entertaining season.”