Chris Kinnear says the Vanarama National League trip to big spending Eastleigh is a massive challenge.
The two sides start the game at Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday, having both taken four points from their opening three games, to sit 12th and 13th in the early season league table.
However while the playing records are equal, Kinnear admits they cannot ever match their dealings in the transfer market.
Eastleigh have continued their big spending by recruiting defender Reda Johnson, following his release by League 1 Coventry City, beating off reported interest by at least one other club in the same division and two in League 2.
He joins Ryan Cresswell who helped Northampton win promotion last season, while Mikael Mandron has joined from Sunderland.
Kinnear said: "It's a massive game for us - they have just gone out and spent a fortune on Johnson - the closest we'll get to Coventry is people not talking to each other."
"We can't match the money, and have never been able to - we finished above them last season - our challenge is to prove we can match them on the pitch."
Ricky Miller is available after missing the 2-0 win over North Ferriby United on Saturday due to a one match ban, following his sending-off against Boreham Wood.