Austin to ponder defensive changes after Cheltenham calamity

Time for change? Dean Austin must decide to stick or twist with his leaky defence. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds
Time for change? Dean Austin must decide to stick or twist with his leaky defence. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Cobblers boss Dean Austin will go away and reflect before deciding whether or not to make changes to his increasingly vulnerable defence following Saturday’s latest error-strewn display in defeat to Cheltenham Town.

Shay Facey’s needless foul coupled with slack marking allowed Will Boyle to give Cheltenham a 36th minute lead before Kevin van Veen’s penalty restored parity on the hour-mark.

But Town’s hard work to get back level was undone by more defensive mistakes with Facey’s clumsy challenge gifting the visitors their own spot-kick, which Conor Thomas converted, before another set-piece calamity saw Kelsey Mooney make it 3-1 and wrap up the points.

The back four have come under-fire all season long, as well as much of last term, and Austin will now mull over the possibility of making changes to his leaky defence ahead of next week’s visit to Port Vale.

“That’s down to me to go away and assess,” he said. “Unfortunately, when you are trying to play with the football, the biggest thing is concentration.

“People have designated jobs at set-pieces. We do it in training. We go through it two days before the game and then the day before the game.

“If you see what we have on the wall, you’d know we work hard on set-pieces and we’re organised.

“But what can you do on a Saturday when you’re on the sidelines and people don’t go into the slots they’re supposed to?

“Sometimes, unfortunately, there’s not too much you can do. You hope there’s a collective responsibility to keep the ball out of the net.

“For the first one, we’re in slots for the free-kick so that’s about the area you’re supposed to be defending.

“We have designated markers and it’s something we’re organised on but we have to be better.

“That’s something we will have to look at in regards to where we’re putting people.”