Rotherham United manager Steve Evans was delighted with the way his side neutralised the physical threat of a Cobblers side he feels are ‘the most direct in English football’.
The Millers ran out 3-1 winners the the New York Stadium, with a Daniel Nardiello penalty and goals for midfielders Ben Pringle and David Noble enough for the three points.
Clarke Carlisle scored with an injury-time header that turned out to be a mere consolation for Northampton, who have now suffered back-to-back losses.
“Every game against Northampton is a difficult one because they are a physical side and we had to deal with that first and foremost,” he said.
“They are the most direct team in English football so I was pleased with how we stood up to that.
“We were quite surprised with how they defended because they are normally very good at that side of the game and they have some big lads in there.”
Noble, whose third goal was, he felt, decisive, concurred with his manager and saluted his team-mates for repelling a Town side who went into the game having won five of their past six games.
“For a team that puts you under so much pressure and have such a physical presence, for our keeper to only make two saves shows how solid our performance was,” said Noble.
“But our second and third goals came at good times and the third one really was a nail in the coffin.”
Evans believes the result will help restore some of the belief at Rotherham, who leapfrogged Town as a result of the victory and are now sixth in npower League Two.
“It’s not relief, it’s belief, the belief comes back into yourself,” he said. “We’ve had some dark days but I’ve never doubted what we’ve got here.
“A couple of better managers than I will ever be have told me to keep faith in what we have and what we are doing and to keep working hard on the training ground.
“Over the past couple of games our performances have not been good enough so it was important to get a good performance but we needed a result too. We’d have taken 1-0 with a poor performance.
“It was really pleasing to get this result for the supporters here. We could hear them starting to make some noise a few minutes before the kick-off and we really valued that.”