Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes relegated Northampton Town could become a force once they find their feet in League Two after a disappointing start.
Saturday’s visitors to the One Call Stadium have not won in their last four League Two outings and only once in all nine games so far.
Flitcroft said: “You look at last season when Port Vale hurtled down the league and Chesterfield went out the league, sometimes it’s hard finding your feet.
“It is a very robust League Two – a very direct league.
“There is a lot more football played in League One and it can be difficult sometimes to acclimatise and adjust.
“But Northampton have a lot of good players and when they settle and understand the environment they are in they will pick up their form.
“They are a team full of very good experience right through the heart of the side.”
He added: “They are not where they want to be in the table right now, but they will be dangerous opponents.
“Like Cambridge last Saturday they are a team with absolutely everything to fight for.
“Northampton have players who can hurt you and are opponents who want to get their season on track - as are a lot of teams coming up to that 10 game mark.
“We have done work on Northampton and where we can affect their weaknesses, but we really need to focus on what we have been good at at the One Call and improving on that.”
Flitcroft chose not to send any first team squad members to Morecambe for yesterday’s 3-2 reserves defeat as he plotted how to get his own side’s season firmly on track with too many games drawn that Stags should have won.
“We didn’t send many of the boys over to that as we have some important sessions,” he said.
“It’s important that, come Saturday, everyone knows what is expected of them.”