Aidy Boothroyd will remind his Cobblers players not to do ‘anything stupid’ when they host Torquay United at Sixfields on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Town have incurred the wrath of the referee on their two away trips this season, with Darren Carter sent off on the opening day at York City and Chris Hackett dismissed at Southend United last week.
In both cases, the players were culpable but there is a feeling within the Northampton camp that both could have been avoided had the parties involved dealt with the inexperienced referees more shrewdly.
Both games ended in defeat and Boothroyd wants to avoid any similar setbacks against the Gulls this weekend and the team look to build on their win over Newport County on home soil 10 days ago.
“We have to look after ourselves and we have to look at what we can do to not give away stupid cards,” he said.
“We cannot get involved in giving away stupid free-kicks because it all adds to the pressure of trying to win the game; you put yourselves under pressure and you put yourself at a disadvantage with giving away free kicks all the time.
“When that happens we start to get bookings and inevitably you will get men sent off.
“Getting two sent off in two away games is unusual but when you’ve got a referee like we did against Southend, it is only his second season and his record suggests that he does show a lot of cards.
“We had that information stuck on the dressing-room wall for everybody to see so clearly we’ve got to do something different in how we approach these things.”