Brady says Cobblers need to be 'tactically better' after struggling to cope with Rochdale's system in first defeat
'Tactically we worked to do certain things to stop them playing through our lines but, to be honest, at times we didn't nullify that.'
Cobblers boss Jon Brady admits his side need to be 'tactically better' moving forward after they struggled to cope with Rochdale's system during their first defeat of the season on Saturday.
Town started well at Sixfields and whilst Max Taylor headed the visitors ahead against the run of play on 17 minutes, Jon Guthrie's second goal in two games quickly levelled things.
However, Dale gradually wrestled control of the contest with their 3-4-2-1 system causing problems both out wide and through the middle.
Josh Andrews beat Town's malfunctioning offside trap to restore their lead before Abraham Odoh's stoppage-time third condemned Brady's side to their first defeat of the campaign.
Brady admitted afterwards that the Cobblers were a long way from their best and that owed as much to the visitors as it did to his own side's failings.
"I certainly think their shape and the way they play was a reason for that because they really stretch you out and pull you apart," said Brady.
"They play 3-4-2-1 with the two 10s dropping into the pocket and we were a little too open to start with and that's not how we want to start.
"I don't want to give too much away but they passed through our lines too easily at times. I pride ourselves on our organisation and not letting that happened but it happened quite easily in my opinion.
"It wasn't through a lack of effort but through a lack of being tactically better. We know we should be tactically better in those situations and close those things off. We can definitely be a lot better on the ball as well."
Brady stuck to his 4-4-2 despite Town's problems and only made a straight swap up front prior to Andrews' decisive goal, swapping Kion Etete and Nicke Kabamba for Danny Rose and Benny Ashley-Seal.
He added: "I felt the front two worked hard and we tried to freshen it up with Danny and Benny coming on but it didn't really come to fruition in the end.
"It could have been a possibility (to change shape) but not today. They are just very good at what they do - I watched them against Forest Green the other night and they really pulled Forest Green apart.
"If you look at the amount of chances, Rochdale had more chances but just weren't clinical enough. They are a good side and I said that before the game, and I prepped the players. We didn't underestimate them one bit because we knew what they could do and how good they can be.
"They played well but we could have been better to counteract that through our own shape and the things we did. Tactically we worked to do certain things to stop them playing through our lines but, to be honest, at times we didn't nullify that."