Keith Curle is urging the players selected to play against Fulham under 21s at the PTS Academy Stadium on Tuesday night to grasp the opportunity they are given.
A win should be enough to see the Cobblers through to the knock out stages of the competition and Curle wants his players to ensure they do progress.
“It’s another opportunity for the players to represent the football club and show what they are about,” he said.
“Every game the players get an opportunity to express themselves and Tuesday night is another challenge.
“I said to the players when I first arrived that they were going to face a lot of challenges and you never know where the next game can lead to.
“We will show Fulham exactly the same respect we would show any team and our approach will be exactly the same.
“I’ve got very good memories of this competition and I’ve been lucky enough to play in a final at Wembley three times. I know there has been some controversy around it but it’s an opportunity and no matter what the game or the competition I want to win.”