New Cobblers boss Keith Curle said he saw plenty to be encouraged about as he reflected on the goalless draw at home to Bury.
“It was a creditable point against a very good team and I thought it was the minimum the players deserved,” he said.
“There was an air of nervousness about the changing room before the game which is understandable and acceptable because I’ve not had much time with the players yet but I have to say they have reacted well and they have been very open minded and given me their undivided attention.
“I gave the players a new system to play tonight and they showed good willingness and desire to take that on board.
“There is an element of responsibility labelled at the players with the last manager losing his job and they understand that.
“We need to earn the right to express ourselves and tonight was a very workman like performance.
“After the first ten minutes I thought we had the lion’s share of the chances and a clean sheet gives us a platform to build on.
“I think 3-5-2 when it’s done right is very effective and we had to nullify a very good team who came here full of confidence.
“The players know what I expect, I gave the players the shirt before the game, today it was a gift but now they have to earn it.
“I know this division well but I’ve not seen Northampton live this year before tonight.
“I’m a worker, I love this industry, I love football and I love improving and developing players. I like to take clubs on a journey, I took on a similar job at Carlisle and after keeping them up we had three top ten finishes in three years. I want to be at the top end of the division, I want to get out of this division and then be a contender in League One.
“There are a lot of things in place here and a key thing for me was the ambition of the Chairman. He gave me a good outline of what the club wants and he was realistic about what we have here in the changing room.
“We put a foundation down tonight and now it’s a case of building steadily and getting results.”