A delighted Chris Wilder heaped praise on his side’s all-round quality in both attack and defence after the Cobblers ground out another three points against Crawley Town on Tuesday night.
Town had to show both parts of their game as first they cut apart Crawley with a slick counter-attacking performance to lead 2-0 at half-time through Joel Byrom’s header and a stunning 30-yard strike from John-Joe O’Toole.
The Cobblers could have been further ahead as Nicky Adams and Marc Richards both came close but after Brendan Moloney was sent off and Simon Walton tucked away the subsequent penalty, the visitors then had to dig deep and withstand a late Crawley barrage to claim the points.
“For an hour I thought we were outstanding,” Wilder said afterwards. “We started off the game really well and I was a bit disappointed not to extend our lead but we’ve come to a team bang in form who are really going great guns at home.
“To come here and produce a performance like that was excellent.
“But we’ve just talked about how quickly things can change in a game. One long throw into the box and we don’t win the header, the ball bounces in the box and Brendan makes the decision to pull the lad back.
“The game changes in a heartbeat but we’ve showed both sides of the game - I thought the front three and Rico were outstanding for 60 minutes and caused them quite a lot of problems
“And then when we’ve had to hang in and keep the ball out and we’ve done that part of the game as well so it’s another big three points for us.”
Northampton came into this game boosted by the news that Kelvin Thomas has agreed a deal to buy the club, however Wilder insisted it was business as usual for his side as he refused to comment on the proposed takeover until it’s officially complete
“We have to overcome these hurdles in your career so hopefully we have got over the biggest hurdle now and we can move forward, but there was no sitting back tonight,” added the Cobblers boss.
“The talk before was about being relentless and ruthless and this is just the start for us and we have to drive it forward and we will keep the standards high.
“I thought the standard was exceptionally high tonight, both with the ball on a difficult surface and without the ball as we’ve closed them down and shut the supply off.
“We picked up every first and second ball and apart from Matt Harrold going through - which is a bad decision by us because there’s a lot of space in behind and one ball did us - it was really a pretty comfortable night for us up until that point.”