Brady feels Cobblers are still suffering a 'hangover' from COVID-enforced break
'You can't just snap your fingers and hope you'll be back there after 21 days off.'
Cobblers boss Jon Brady feels his side are still suffering something of a 'hangover' from their 21 days off with COVID following back-to-back defeats.
Town, who had won eight out of 10 prior to the break, were beaten by Swindon in their first game back before going down 1-0 to Crawley at Sixfields.
Cobblers looked sluggish and heavy-legged in the first-half on Saturday and found themselves trailing to Tom Nichols' well-taken goal at the break.
The home side improved in the second period, especially during a dominant final 20 minutes, but they squandered a string of chances.
"We did our best in training all week but it still felt like a bit of a hangover," said Brady. "Before all this happened, we had eight wins out of 10 and we were in a real good place.
"You can't just snap your fingers and hope you'll be back there after 21 days off so it does feel like a bit of a hangover from COVID and everything that came with it.
"But in the second-half on Saturday, that looked a lot more like us."
Brady was deeply unhappy with his side's first-half performance on Saturday and made a tactical tweak at half-time as a result, replacing Paul Lewis with Dylan Connolly and putting Sam Hoskins through the middle.
"I felt everything was too slow and we didn't play at the tempo we like to play at," Brady added. "We didn't take any responsibility until Fraser (Horsfall) stepped in on about the 41st minute when he really drove through them and we got a half chance out of it.
"Usually at home we're on the front foot. It's just little things like balls going out of play, normally we're sprinting to get the ball, getting it back in and then playing.
"There were a few choice words at half-time and I demanded more in the second-half and obviously we got that.
"We had all the chances but the pleasing thing for me was that there was so much more purpose and players were brave in their decision-making, trying to break the lines and beat the full-backs.
"First-half we played in front of them and that was the disappointing thing.
"I think we had enough chances to win the game in the end, let alone draw it, but sometimes it can be very hard to gain that momentum back when you haven't been at your best like we were in the first-half.