Brady surprised and disappointed by Cobblers' failure to 'stand up' in key moments
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Cobblers boss Jon Brady admitted he was both surprised and disappointed by his side’s failure to ‘stand up’ at key moments after another tough afternoon against Barrow in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Town’s winless run stretched to six games in all competitions after they followed their 4-0 drubbing at Derby in midweek with a 3-1 home loss to League Two Barrow. It was all too easy for Emile Acquah to head in an early opener before Mitch Pinnock levelled on the half-hour mark.
Cobblers missed two good chances either side of half-time and were enjoying their best spell of the game when Tom White’s deflected shot restored Barrow’s lead before Ben Whitfield pounced on a defensive blunder to send Northampton crashing out at the first round stage for the fourth season in a row.
"It's too easy for the opposition to score,” admitted Brady. “Our problem at the moment is that we're not standing up in those key moments and our team has never been like that before.
"I have to make sure we get back to standing up. When you're not at your best and when things are going against you, like the second goal, you can’t let it take the wind out of your sails but unfortunately it did to us.
"When you’re lacking confidence, the minimum thing you can do and the minimum we ask for is to compete the best you can, to work hard and to ran hard, do the real simple things, and then you have to be brave on the ball.
"Physically, we're not showing the strength we have in the past. Whether that's running more than the opposition, challenging, making sure your man doesn't get the better of you no matter what. Unfortunately, at the moment, it's a bit too easy.”
Town’s troubles were summed up by the second and third goals against Barrow. They failed to clear their lines before White’s strike took a huge deflection to make it 2-1, and then a mix-up between Ali Koiki and Max Thompson allowed Whitfield to nip in and effectively secure Barrow’s place in round two.
"When it goes back to 1-1, we have them on the ropes and we should put them to the sword,” Brady added. “I've not seen the second goal back but from what I remember from seeing it live, we don't get out quickly enough to block the shot and then it deflects and goes in.
"The third goal is just an awful goal to concede, an awful goal, and it's not at the level required. Max just needs to come our, take charge and put his foot through it.”