Alan McCormack has stressed the importance of being 'ruthless' after revealing the Cobblers dressing room had been left 'extremely angry' by recent slip-ups.
Back-to-back wins over Stevenage and Newport had taken Town up to 10th in Sky Bet League Two and within one point of the play-offs ahead of winnable fixtures against Crawley, Morecambe and Leyton Orient.
But despite leading 2-0 in the first two, the Cobblers returned only two points from those three games and now find themselves further off the pace in 14th.
McCormack played the final 20 minutes on Saturday when Town were particularly poor in defeat to Orient, although the midfielder did not feel previous slip-ups contributed to their out-of-sorts performance.
"I don't think it was on people's minds," he said. "We were extremely angry after the Morecambe game and we wanted to put that right.
"We want to make sure we become a ruthless team when we're 1-0 or 2-0 up because we've seen before that 2-0 can be a dangerous scoreline.
"That first goal back after being 2-0 up is so important and we've got to be ruthless.
"We were looking at going 2-0 up again on Saturday and really putting our foot on the throat and going for the killer punch and getting the third goal.
"But we couldn't do that and we didn't even manage many shots on their goal during the game so we're disappointed.
"We've had a few words in the dressing room and we'll come into training, shake it off and get ready for the next game."