TORQUAY United midfielder Ben Harding has vowed to put friendships to one side when he faces former club Northampton Town on Saturday.
Harding made 62 appearances for the Cobblers between January 2012 and May 2013 and was a virtual ever-present in the side that narrowly missed out on promotion last season.
Northampton boasted one of the best home records in all four divisions last season, winning 17 of their 23 games at Sixfields Stadium.
But Harding says there would be no better place for Torquay to register their first league win of the season after two draws and a defeat in their opening three games.
“I am really looking forward to going back there,” he said. “I had some good times at the club and there are a lot of good people there. But I am at a new club now and I want to go there and win.
“I have a lot of close friends there I am still in contact with, but it goes out of the window when it comes to the game.
“I have to try and beat them now, even though we know it is going to be a tough game.
“Their record speaks for itself. It was up there with Manchester United’s home form last season.
“They are well organised and the manager has them playing in a way that works for them.
“They have got a new team like us this year, so they are still getting used to the way that they are playing.
“We know we are going to get bombarded with crosses and balls in the box and we have to make sure we are able to deal with that.
“We are still looking for our first three points and it would be great to get them at my old club.”
Harding is one of four Torquay players with an association with Northampton. Winger Courtney Cameron was in the Cobblers’ youth system before he was lured to Aston Villa at the age of 14.
Kevin Nicholson had a loan spell there in 2001 and Karl Hawley spent two months with the club during the 2008/09 campaign.
Torquay will come up against former winger Ian Morris, who made the switch to Sixfields Stadium over the summer.
Harding has nailed down a starting place in central midfield alongside skipper Lee Mansell in Torquay’s new-look side.
But the 28-year-old has promised there is more to come.
“I am pleased with the way I have played in some respects but I am a little bit frustrated because I am still getting used to the way the manager w ants me to play.
“I have done some good bits and some not so good bits. I will just keep trying to work hard and do the best I can.”