Rob Page has urged his side to cut out the ‘stupid mistakes’ that have plagued their season if they are to reverse their current poor form which continued on Saturday with a 1-0 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Despite a much-improved performance, the Cobblers were beaten by Zach Clough’s first-half goal when the highly-rated youngster spun away from the home defence and slotted beyond David Cornell.
The manner of the goal frustrated Page, who was otherwise satisfied with his side’s showing against the high-flying Trotters.
“In the second-half we were camped in their half and did everything but score,” he said afterwards.
“I sound like a stuck record and I’ve just said exactly the same to the lads; until we start eradicating the stupid mistakes that we’re making and stop creating problems for ourselves, like the throw-in for the goal, we’ll get punished.
“We’re in a good defensive position and one person switches off and Clough gets through and is one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
“It’s basic stuff and until we learn from that, we’ll always be punished, even against average teams in this division let alone the so-called best.
“We’ve just made Bolton look average to say the least, certainly in the second-half.
“I thought the changes made us better but their goal was all our own doing and that’s bitterly disappointing.”
It’s now four straight league defeats for Northampton, all by the odd goal, as they slide down another place to 16th in Sky Bet League One, but Page is convinced their form will turn if they continue to perform at their current level.
“We cannot be down about it,” he added. “Nobody likes losing and I hate losing, as do the lads and our supporters, but if we keep performing and giving that level of commitment week in, week out, we’ll win more than we lose.
“It’s not quite dropping for us at the moment and I’m not making excuses.
“We need something to drop for us to change it but from a performance point of view, to be camped in their half against a team who’ve just been relegated from the Championship, speaks volumes about what the lads have done.”