Andy King said a toothless Cobblers performance against York City that lacked urgency and edge has put the team firmly ‘back to square one’.
The Minstermen ran out 2-0 winners at Sixfields for the second season running to leave Town four points adrift of safety at the foot of Sky Bet League Two.
Caretaker manager King had guided the team to a win at Newport County in their previous match, and a creditable 0-0 draw at Portsmouth prior to that.
But they were back to that familiar losing feeling against York City, whose third successive win has lifted them to 14th in the league.
“I’m very disappointed, we’ve just lost a game of football that we needed to win,” said King, who also admitted after the game that he is no clearer about his own position at the club.
“We played some decent football at times but we didn’t create enough chances and it’s goals which win games and we didn’t have enough in front of goal.
“We didn’t have the urgency or the edge today, I don’t if it was because we were playing at home or what it was. But we’re in a dog fight and I don’t think we had enough urgency in our game today.
“In fairness, there wasn’t a lot of creativity at either end but we didn’t look the same bunch of players that did so well for me in the last couple of games, I thought they were trying to play perfect football at times but we’re not in a position to do that.
“We showed flashes at times but we weren’t effective enough in the box. I need to reflect on the performance but we’re back to square one now and the defeat means we’ve got to go to Torquay and win now.”