Captain Horsfall baffled by 'flat' Cobblers performance against Barrow

'They did a job on us in the first-half and we just said at half-time that we needed to get some energy from somewhere.'

By James Heneghan
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 4:37 pm
Fraser Horsfall.
Fraser Horsfall.

Skipper Fraser Horsfall admitted he was left baffled by Cobblers’ ‘flat’ performance against Barrow on Tuesday evening.

Town were a pale imitation of their usual energetic and vibrant selves against the struggling Bluebirds and deservedly came away from Sixfields empty-handed.

Jon Brady’s side started slowly and despite a brief improvement midway through the first-half, remained a long way from their best.

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Aaron Amadi-Holloway scored the game’s only goal when heading home six minutes into the second-half.

“It just felt flat out there in the first-half,” said Horsfall. “We came in 0-0 at half-time and we knew we had been nowhere near our best.

“They did a job on us in the first-half and we just said at half-time that we needed to get some energy from somewhere and I felt like we came out in the second-half a little bit better but then the goal killed us.

“We just didn’t create as many chances as we wanted to with the amount of possession we had.

“The lads are gutted because we know it’s a big opportunity missed. I can’t put my finger on why we were flat.

“It’s our first Tuesday game after a Saturday game in a long time but I don’t think we can use that as an excuse.

“It’s just one of those things, it kept adding up during the game, and on another day we grind out a point.”

Barrow boss Mark Cooper revealed after the game that he specifically picked a side that would nullify Cobblers’ energetic forward line.

“Northampton have been playing with two midfield players up front and no out-and-out striker so I wanted to play a really mobile back three to deal with their threat and their pace in behind,” explained Cooper.

“I picked players that have pace and mobility and would be quick on the turn and that was the reasoning behind it and I was pleased with how it turned out.”

In response, Horsfall said: “They sat behind the ball and made it difficult for us and they defended set-pieces well.

“They grabbed the goal which got them the win but we knew they would sit in so it’s up to us to find ways to break them down and win those type of games because more teams will do that against us.”

Not even the injection of fresh legs and new faces could lift the Cobblers, although debutant Bez Lubala did look bright off the bench, while Josh Eppiah worked hard on his first start.

“There’s a load of new lads coming in and it will take time to bed them in,” Horsfall added.

“I thought a couple of them looked good but they have only been in the building for a few days so they will need a week or so to bed in and get to know the other lads and the style of play.

“We will recover now and then work towards Saturday.

“Every game now is important and we’re expected to win and we need to win so we’ll be looking to bounce back on Saturday.”