Coventry City manager Russell Slade was left to rue a ‘harsh’ red card and some poor defending from his side after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Northampton Town.
On an afternoon to forget for the Sky Blues, Slade’s men slumped further adrift at the bottom of Sky Bet League One when extending their winless run to 12 games.
And to make matters worse, several Coventry fans caused further trouble by using smoke bombs and pitch invasions to protest against their controversial owners, forcing the match to be delayed on three separate occasions.
On the field, Keshi Anderson’s hat-trick did for City who were up against it from the moment of captain Jordan Willis’ straight red card on 17 minutes.
Slade said afterwards: “We started the game well and I thought we were the better side. But the sending-off was pivotal, it gave Northampton a huge lift and put us own to ten men which was always going to be difficult.
“I’ve had a look at it and I think it’s a bit harsh because he’s won the ball but caught their player with a trailing leg.
“We managed to get to half-time without conceding but the first goal was always going to be key. And it was the team with 11 men who got it but you can’t throw the towel in even when things do go against you.
“Going 1-0 down seemed to sap the players and you can’t allow that to happen, you have to be big enough and strong enough to respond in those situations. We had no real response when Northampton got the second goal so it was a very difficult afternoon for us.
“The goals we conceded were nothing to do with us being down to ten men, so there are no excuses for any of them.”
As for the repercussions for the delays caused by fans and flares coming on to the pitch, Slade added: “As managers and coaches, we can only try and control with what happens on the pitch.
“I can’t control things off the pitch, we’re in a difficult situation as it is on it.”