Wilder satisfied as Cobblers maintain unbeaten run

CENTRE OF ATTENTION - Marc Richards celebrates his early goal in the 2-1 win over Hartlepool (Pictures: Sharon Lucey)

CENTRE OF ATTENTION - Marc Richards celebrates his early goal in the 2-1 win over Hartlepool (Pictures: Sharon Lucey)

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Chris Wilder felt Northampton’s 2-1 win over Hartlepool should have been more comfortable after his side dominated much of the game.

The Cobblers were fast out of the traps as Marc Richards put them into a fourth minute lead before Andrew Boyce’s own goal made it 2-0 inside the first quarter.

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder watches his team against Hartlepool

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder watches his team against Hartlepool

Northampton threatened more goals but Rakish Bingham pulled one back for the visitors and the home side struggled to regain their early control.

Adam Smith remained largely untroubled in the Northampton goal, though, as Northampton saw out victory to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Wilder said afterwards: “At times we played really well but we took our foot off the gas once we went 2-0 up. We seemed to get caught in two minds in the second half but that performance was still good enough for me.

“We were looking for a good start and we got it but we didn’t keep it going for 90 minutes. We had to set the tempo from the start because we knew they would be difficult to break down.

“We were comfortable in the second half but I still felt we needed a third goal. We got caught in-between a little bit in the second half because they sat deep and we needed to move the ball a lot quicker and when we did move it quickly, we opened them up.”

“Adam Smith didn’t have a lot to do and we’ve had a lot of the ball, we just needed to be more positive in the final third. I was disappointed to concede because we were in the ascendency at the time and one long ball has done us.

“It’s important that we stay switched on at the other end when we have so much possession, that’s how we got caught out for their goal.

“But there were a lot of positive performances out there and I’m delighted to get all three points.

“There are no easy three points in League Two, we’re on a decent run but we’ve got to keep it going.

“If we had played a bit quicker and a bit more positively in the final third than I think we could have created a few more chances, but a win’s a win and we’re delighted we’ve got the three points.”

Wilder was especially delighted with how quickly his side started the game - something he was keen to drill into the players prior to kick-off.

He added: “We were desperate for a quick start and we got it.

“We have to set the tempo from the off so the energy and the pace of the game is dictated by us. When we didn’t have it we’ve closed down as a group and fully committed. When we had it, we played quick, positive football and we ran in behind them.

“When we do that I think everybody who sees us, whether that’s our supporters or the other team, recognise that we’re a good side.

“But we have to keep doing that and sometimes that’s difficult for the whole 90 minutes.

“We’ve got caught from one long ball so we need to have a little look at that and make sure we’re always switched on.”