Cobblers boss Keith Curle previews Saturday’s opening Sky Bet League 1 fixture against AFC Wimbledon at the PTS Academy Stadium.
“It’s a fantastic opening game for us,” he said.
“Wimbledon have shown that they can cope at this level and we are looking forward to pitting ourselves against them on Saturday.
“We want to be a progressive football club and we are putting the building blocks in place.
“When we came back for the play-offs we were preparing for a sprint but Saturday is the start of a 46 game marathon.
“Win or lose the first game doesn’t dictate where you are going to finish, everyone wants to win that first game but no matter the result on Saturday we will learn from it.
“We don’t shy away from challenges and we don’t shy away from the fact we need to learn, develop and improve.
“The fans are a massive miss for us but everything being done is being done for the safety and wellbeing of everyone. Hopefully the fans can come back soon but only when it’s safe for everybody.”