Andy Awford is keen to remember the feel-good factor on his return to Northampton tonight.
The Blues boss recalled the corresponding League Two fixture in April last year when his side confirmed their safety from relegation before kick-off and then claimed a 1-0 win thanks to Danny East’s winner.
But Awford knows it’s a very different set of circumstances this season, as the two form sides in the division go head-to-head.
Awford said: ‘It’s a good memory but it’s nearly a year on with two different teams and two different sets of players.
‘Last time it was two teams scrapping and now we are two teams bang in form.
‘The best thing for me was knowing before kick-off that we were safe.
‘Being able to go into the dressing room when the lads came in from the warm-up and being able to say to them “we are okay” was a big relief for everyone.
‘It was almost like a goal start for us.
‘We made eight changes that day. I felt it needed freshening up.
‘The players had put in such a shift that it was too big an ask for some of them. That was the way we decided to go.
It’s a good memory but it’s nearly a year on with two different teams and two different sets of players.Andy Awford
‘Thankfully it proved right because we won the game.’
Although Awford looks unlikely to make many changes this time, it’s been a similarly punishing run for the Blues, with the trip to Sixfields their fourth game in 10 days.
‘All we are doing at the moment is recovering. They aren’t heavy sessions,’ added Awford.
Meanwhile, it’s been announced that Awford is on the shortlist for League Two’s manager of the month award, while Jed Wallace is in the running for player of the month.