Northampton Town boss Aidy Boothroyd says he is expecting a tough physical battle against Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The Cobblers travel to the One Call Stadium looking to derail Mansfield’s six game unbeaten streak and earn their first away win in the process.
Northampton have struggled to find their feet this season after they were beaten 3-0 by Bradford City in last year’s play-off final.
But Boothroyd says Saturday’s trip to Mansfield is the perfect chance to show people what they can do.
“I’m really excited about this game because it will give me the opportunity to look at the players under a microscope,” he said.
“It is going to be about focus and it is going to be a tough game, there is no doubt about that.
“It would have been a lot easier for us to keep players if we’d won at Wembley because then you’re on a roll and you’re a team that is moving forward.
“We obviously would have still had to change a few things but when a team comes up they have a bit of momentum.
“The players subconsciously lift their levels and they go again whereas sometimes if you don’t have as good a season as you wanted, you come back for pre-season and you almost know at some point that there’s going to be a lull.
“That’s sometimes why it is important to change a team around as well as maintaining what you’ve done.”
Stags will be without Chris Clements, who is facing two to four months on the sidelines after injuring his medial ligaments in the 2-1 win at York City.
They could also be without central defender Martin Riley who was shown a red card in the same match.
But, whichever side Paul Cox puts out for his 100th league game at the helm, Boothroyd knows his side face strong opposition.
“They’ve got a lot of momentum from their promotion and they are a big, strong team,” he said. “They are a physical outfit who will cause us a lot of problems.
“But I said to the players in training this week ‘what better game could you wish for at this moment?’
“We’re away from home and we’re going to go there knowing we’ll get roughed up. We’ve got to stand up and deal with it.
“Anything that comes in we have to make sure we defend it resolutely and we also have to make sure we cause them some problems as well and show them what we’ve got in our armoury.”