Cobblers boss Page determined to take the positives from Checkatrade Trophy loss to Sky Blues

Rob Page will take the positives from Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Coventry City and quickly move on as he turns his attention to more important matters with this weekend's trip to Sky Bet League One leaders Scunthorpe United already at the forefront of his mind.

Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 10:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 4:43 pm
Cobblers manager Rob Page watches his side lose at Coventry City in the Checkatrade Trophy (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

The defeat at a virtually deserted Ricoh Arena means Cobblers crash out of the Checkatrade Trophy, but Page knows all too well that there are far more important matters coming up.

He said: "It's always disappointing to lose a game of football and we're disappointed with the goals we conceded, but we'll dust ourselves down and now we have a great game to look forward to.

"We got off to the worst possible start to concede straight from the kick-off and then we gave ourselves a chance to get back into it, but they go back 2-1 up.

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JJ Hooper battles for possession

"In the second-half I thought we worked our way into the game and we dealt with the three in the middle of the park a lot better and we dealt with Jones much better.

"We grew into the game but a moment of magic from the substitute makes it 3-1 and then it's a mountain to climb."

Marc Richards scored Northampton's only goal as Page made nine changes to Saturday's team, with Matty Taylor, Brendan Moloney, Zander Diamond and Alex Revell all given the night off.

That gave other players an opportunity to impress, with Page adding: "I thought JJ (Hooper) when he went out wide and then up top always looked a threat.

Coventry City caretaker boss Mark Venus

"The keeper made a great save from him so he did okay tonight, and I thought Aaron Phillips did really well at right-back with his one-on-one defending.

"But we had a couple of injuries from the weekend with people like Revs who picked up a dead calf and I can't risk it.

"Zander's played every minute of every game and I could have maybe played Brendan (Moloney) tonight but I wasn't prepared to take that gamble, so it was an opportunity to give other players minutes on the pitch.

"Rico got through an hour, his Achilles is fine and he gets a goal and he has an hour for his fitness, so there are positives and we'll take them and move into an important game on Saturday.

The Cobblers supporters at Coventry

"We knew the importance of Saturday's game so we wanted to give other players a go."

One concern for the Cobblers boss will be Harry Beautyman who limped off in the closing stages of Tuesday's defeat having only come on at half-time.

Page added: "He's taken a knock behind his knee but I wouldn't like to assume a the minute.

"He's got the physio with him so hopefully it's nothing too bad but we had to take him off as a precaution more than anything with Saturday in mind."

JJ Hooper battles for possession
Coventry City caretaker boss Mark Venus
The Cobblers supporters at Coventry