Cobblers boss Chris Wilder wants his team to lay down a Sky Bet League Two marker when they take on leaders Leyton Orient at Sixfields.
Town go into Saturday’s game in high spirits, having claimed back-to-back victories over Oxford United and Morecambe, and Wilder is keen for them to maintain their momentum against the stuttering Os.
Managed by former Cobblers right-back Ian Hendon, Orient got off to a flying start, winning their first five league games, but they have managed just two draws and a win in their past three games, and haven’t won since August 29.
They still sit top of the pile thanks to that stunning start though, and Wilder can’t wait to see his team go toe to toe with a team he believes shouldn’t even be in league two.
“We are playing the team at the top of the league, let’s take the handbrake off and go for it,” said the Cobblers boss.
“We have had two fantastic performances and results, and we are looking to make it three on the spin.
“Leyton Orient have started the season off in fine form under a new manager, and they are a club that should never have got relegated.
“We played them pre-season last year, and their ambition was to go one better than the season before when they lost in the play-off final to Rotherham. I went to that game and they should have won that game and gone up into the Championship.
“Last season obviously wasn’t a great one for them because they should never have gone down in a million years, but there is high expectations there.
“Of the teams that got relegated, they are definitely the ones that will be expected to bounce straight back, and they have got off to a great start. It is up to us to put a dent in their promotion charge, and enhance our recent form and points tally.
“Orient heavily invested in some quality players from the championship, and they have still got a few of them in their group now.
“Ian (Hendon) has brought a few more players in, and it is a group that should be going well, is going well, and there is always that pressure on them.
“They seem to be handling it, but they are there to be shot at and we will do our best to go and get another three points.
“We are desperate to be consistent, we want to play against and do well against the better teams in the league, and this is a great opportunity for us.”
The Cobblers were in stunning form last Saturday as they destroyed in-form Morecambe 4-2 on their own patch.
Wilder admitted it was a win he massively enjoyed, but that his thoughts were quickly on to putting together the right team to see off the Os.
“We look to the next game straight away, it is always with you as a football manager,” said Wilder.
“You always have to enjoy the victories, because everybody works extremely hard and it is a competitive league.
“Three points are very valuable for any team, so we were delighted with our result and performance last Saturday.
“But as a manager you are always looking forward and thinking about your next opponents, and Alan (Knill) and I had a car journey home on Saturday night and we were already talking about what we need to do, how our week should be planned out, and looking towards Saturday.
“You can enjoy a victory, but you have to move on quickly, and that’s what we do.”