Keith Curle has praised the work of player/coach Alan Sheehan, and says the former Luton Town skipper has a key role to play, both on and off the field.
Sheehan played against both Gillingham and Sunderland last week on his return from injury, and Curle says there has been a lot of work going on to allow him to appear in both games.
"There has been a lot of rehab work with Alan Sheehan to get him fit," said the Cobblers boss.
"Alan has had a hamstring problem that has gone down in to his calf, we have a little break now and that will give him the chance to get some minutes out on the training pitch. Alan knows his body and we got the maximum number of minutes we could out of him over the last two games, but we didn't push it too far, the last thing we want is to lose him for a few weeks.
"I have known Alan a long time and I had him at Notts County. I like his character and his personality and he still has an important role as a player. He is also learning under myself and Colin West to develop as a coach, and learning how to coach to win games of football. There is a difference, some people can coach for coaching's sake and by a text book but you need to play effective football to give your team the best chance of winning games. Sometimes you have to do the ugly side of the game well and that is important.
"We won't get too fancy, we know who we are, we have an identity and the longer we stay in this division, the more we improve, the more we can develop and the more we can evolve our style. For now, our priority is getting enough points together to stay in what is a very tough League 1 this season."