Cobblers boss Chris Wilder was delighted with his players’ attitude in their final pre-season friendly workout at Conference Premier outfit Eastleigh on Friday night.
The Cobblers won 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from John-Joe O’Toole, with Eastleigh posing a tough test in Hampshire, and it was a good rehearsal ahead of next Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two opener against Mansfield Town at Sixfields.
“We wanted a really tough test, especially in our last game, and we got one,” said Wilder, who sprung a surprise on the night by naming threee trialists in the Cobblers starting XI.
“Eastleigh went great last season, they have made some really good signings in the summer, and it was a physical test for us.
“The conditions were great, the environment was good, and it was competitive which is what we want it to be.
“We wanted it to be as close as what we can expect next week (versus Mansfield) and it was and I am delighted.
“We have passed the ball when we could, and we have had two or three opportunities where we could have stretched our lead.
“The team was a mixed team, there were a lot of things we just chucked on the players before they went out there, and their attitude was superb.”
The teams certainly was mixed, with trialists Andre Boucard, Lawson D’Ath and Andy Robinson all lining up in midfield.
The trio hadn’t even trained with the team before stepping on to the pitch at Eastleigh, but Wilder explained he is looking to bring in a body or two to bolster the midfield.
“We have a situation with Lewis Hornby that he is a little bit slow in his recovery, so we are looking at the central midfield area,” said Wilder.
“We wanted to have a look at one or two players and we have done that.
“We’ve now looked at Andre Boucard, Andy Robinson and Lawson D’Ath, and they all contributed.
“Hopefully they have all enjoyed it and it gives us food for thought.”
The Cobblers now have a free week to prepare fo the visit of Mansfield, and Wilder said: “I think we have had an excellent pre-season, but we will only know next Saturday.
“You want to win your first game, and we will be going all out to do that, but we understand it is a nine month season.
“It is going to be a tough competition, there are a lot of quality sides in there, but all I can ask for is the lads to give me everything, as they have done all the way through pre-season.”