Skipper Alex Wakely says Northants need 'something special' as they go in search of their first win of the season.
The County finished the second day of their County Championship Division Two clash with Warwickshire on 160 for seven.
That means Northants, who were dismissed for 256 in the first innings, now lead by 151 runs.
Ben Duckett is the top scorer so far in the second innings, hitting 38.
And Northants will need to add more useful runs before producing a big bowling display as they bid to beat the early table-toppers.
"At one stage I thought we were looking at a lead of 50 but Tim Ambrose batted very well and now it is set up for an interesting game," said Wakely.
"If you want to dominate games you need one of your top three to be scoring hundreds and that hasn't been happening for us.
"That has meant we have had to scrap and that really sums up this match - a scrap.
"If we can get to around 200 in front it will be interesting.
"We know we are not playing our best cricket at the moment but it would be great to go into the one-dayers on the back of a win.
"We just need something special to turn our season round and tomorrow could be the day."