Cobblers manager Rob Page has vowed to address his side’s discipline problem after six players found themselves in the book against Coventry City on Saturday, the second time that’s happened in only five Sky Bet League One games since his arrival.
With six yellow cards also being dished out at Oldham Athletic two weeks ago, Northampton have now racked up a league-high 15 bookings so far this term.
In addition to that, John-Joe O’Toole has become the first player in the Football League to be suspended having picked up five bookings from just seven starts, meaning he will miss for Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Wycombe Wanderers.
And at the Ricoh Arena against Coventry, again for the second time already this season, O’Toole had to be withdrawn on the hour-mark with the midfielder on a booking and at risk of a second.
Only two of Saturday’s six yellow cards were for genuine fouls, with Alex Revell and Harry Beautyman succumbing to the newly-implemented strict rules on dissent aimed towards officials, while Brendan Moloney was carded for needlessly kicking the ball away in the first-half and Jak McCourt saw yellow for standing in front of the goalkeeper at a free-kick.
That took their total to 15 for the campaign, three more than any other side in the division, and Page knows it’s something that must be addressed.
“You’re going to get bookings for tackles and that, but the bookings I can’t accept are the silly ones for dissent,” he said.
“Using John-Joe as an example, I had to take him off to protect him because I didn’t want him sent off and he’s now suspended.
“That’s an area we’ll address and I will do. I’ve just had a chat with them in the changing room.
“They’re a fantastic group of lads and they want to work so hard for each other, but there are little areas like that we have to work on and we have to address.”