James Beattie has prepared his players for another tough test at Northampton – and will be taking nothing for granted ahead of the trip to Sixfields.
The Reds are unbeaten in eight League Two matches and have won their last three as they head to the division’s bottom side but the manager knows that doesn’t tell the whole story.
“As I always say the next game is always the toughest and I remember going to Northampton last year and they played very well and beat us,” he said. “I can’t see it being any different in terms of a challenge. The temperatures are getting colder, the pitches are getting heavier and that’s something we’ll have to look at as well.
“We’ll do all the work that we have been doing on Northampton, the video analysis, strengths and weaknesses, their team and we won’t approach it any differently.
“But with all that said, I’ve always said to the boys that it’s about how we approach the game, how we turn up on the day and how mentally tuned in to our jobs we are. Over recent weeks we’ve been very good at that and hopefully we can get it spot on again.”
A string of surprising results all over the division in midweek, Beattie believes it’s impossible to predict any scores regardless of position or form.
“I think a lot of the talk between the managers is that there isn’t a lot between any of the teams in the league physically, it’s just about the mental approach and who turns up on the day and how confident and how prepared to work their plums off they are,” he explained.
“I mentioned on Tuesday that Fleetwood looked really fit and strong and we coped with that quite well. I think as your confidence grows your physical strength grows as well. I believe that’s happening as well with the lads, they are growing in stature and strength just off the back of the results that we’ve had.
“They’re a very physical side so we’ll do all the work necessary and give the lads all the information that they need and then it’s up to them when they cross the white line.”