Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has admitted that he and his players have let the club’s supporters down this season.
With the team a lowly 16th in Sky Bet League Two, the Town manager accepts that expectations have not been met.
But Wilder is also not in the mood to throw in the towel on this campaign, far from it, and with ‘a lot of football to be played’ is staying positive.
“We have let the supporters down, there is no doubt about that because there is an expectancy level at the club and we have not lived up to that,” said Wilder, who was left furious by his team’s display in last Saturday’s 3-2 Sixfields defeat to Plymouth Argyle.
“I hated Saturday, because teams I have put out in the past are organised and disciplined, and aggressive, and those weren’t the attributes that the team showed.”
On Saturday, Town travel to a Carlisle United side that currently sit in the relegation zone, and it seems clear that the manager will be demanding his team get back to being a solid and cohesive unit, citing the showing in the 1-0 win at Morecambe back in September as the benchmark.
“I would much rather have a Morecambe away performance and result than anything else,” said Wilder, who welcomes central defender Zander Diamond back into the fold this weekend.
“I want us to be organised, together and strong, and that is what I am looking for now.
“There still 26 games to go, so there is still a lot of football to be played, and a lot of things can still happen, but we have to start picking up points.
“We have to start producing performances, we have to start going on runs, and have consecutive games where we string consistent performances together.
“There is a lot of work to go into it.”
Sixfields was not a happy place to be last Saturday, with Argyle coasting into a 3-0 lead, before two goals in the final 11 minutes almost snatched an unlikely point for Town.
And Wilder has revealed one supporter actually contacted him this week to apologise for his behaviour in the stands - although the Cobblers boss felt the criticism was warranted.
“The support has been great. I have no complaints about what was said last weekend,” said the Cobblers boss.
“I had an email come through from somebody behind me, who was apologising about the language he used, and a bit of criticism towards me and the players.
“I appreciate that, but to be fair I don’t have a problem with it because I think it was fully justified.
“If I was a supporter on Saturday seeing what I saw, I don’t think I would have been too happy.”
And he added: “It is now up to myself, the staff and the players that I can pick to turn that around.
“Everybody knows we have got good players at this football club, and on the whole good characters.
“Now that has to be shown, it has to shown out on the pitch on Saturday afternoon (at Carlisle), and if we do that, and if we can stick it together, then we are good enough to go and get a result.”