Richards admits Cobblers were ‘really poor’ in Shrews stalemate

Marc Richards in action for the Cobblers during Monday's 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town
Marc Richards in action for the Cobblers during Monday's 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town
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Skipper Marc Richards has branded the Cobblers’ performance in Easter Monday’s 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town ‘really poor’ and admitted the team should be ‘performing better’.

Town ended the clash with Shrews with just nine men after red cards were dished out to Dave Buchanan and John-Joe O’Toole, but despite those setbacks Richards felt the match was there for the taking.

The Cobblers now travel to Bury on Saturday, and now know a point will be enough to guarantee survival after the Shakers drew 0-0 at promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night

The Cobblers are still not mathematically safe in Sky Bet League one after a winless run of six matches.

Town know a draw at Bury on Saturday will now do the job, but Richards felt Monday was an opportunity missed to seal that safety earlier.

“Shrewsbury were well-drilled but I thought we were really poor,” said the Town captain.

“There was no consistency with our play at all, we didn’t keep the ball well enough and things just didn’t go our way.

“All in all, a point was probably a fair outcome but we’re not satisfied with that performance. With the players we’ve got in the squad we should be taking three points.

“There are players in the squad that are more than capable of playing at this level and as a squad we should be pushing and performing better than we have done today (Monday).”

Town went into the game off the back of a 3-0 defeat at Millwall on Good Friday.

Unhappy manager Justin Edinburgh had stated he expected a big reaction following that defeat at the New Den, but it never really materialised despite Richards heading the team into the lead midway through the first half.

“It was a good opportunity to put things right after Millwall but we didn’t do that as a team,” said the skipper.

“Too many were off their game and there’s no excuses. We prepare as best we can, like any other club does so there are no excuses - it just didn’t click.

“We’ve got to find a solution as to how to improve as individuals and as a team.

“We’re always looking to progress and to be better and the lads aren’t satisfied with the result.”

The Cobblers now travel to Bury on Saturday in the knowledge that a point will be enough to guarantee survival after the Shakers drew 0-0 at promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Richards is obviously keen for the club’s future to be decided as quickly as possible, and said: “Monday is another point closer to where we want to be and to surviving in this league.

“We’ll use it as a stepping stone for the club to progress again after the promotion last season. and ultimately survival this year was the main objective at the start of the season.

“Maybe some people got carried away with how things were going at the start of the season but we’re a point closer.

“Two teams have been relegated now and there are two spots to go. The ball is in our court.”