Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink came away from Saturday's 1-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon relatively encouraged by what he saw despite his side extending their goal drought to six successive league games.
Harry Forrester's fine strike on the hour-mark was enough for Dons to clinch victory - their first in 13 meetings over Northampton - as the Cobblers once again struggled to create much in front of goal.
The defeat leaves them second from bottom in Sky Bet League One, above only Plymouth, and four points from safety ahead of Tuesday's game at Rochdale.
"I think you have to take the positives out of the game and compared to last week, it was 100 per cent improvement," said Hasselbaink, whose side lost 6-0 to Bristol Rovers the previous weekend.
"It was never going to be a classic because of what happened last weekend and it was always going to be about commitment and character and showing that the team was sorry and that last week it was a one-off.
"I think they did that. We gave no chances away apart from the goal they scored which came out of a ricochet. It was a good clearance from Aaron Pierre but it hit our player and that's the spell we're in at the moment.
"Straight after that we got a chance and it doesn't go in and that's the problem. It's just once of those things but we cannot feel sorry for ourselves, it's not the time for that.
"We need to keep on working, keep our heads down and keep at it and it will fall for us. I'm not somebody who believes in luck, you go and get your own luck and when you keep on working and keep going, you will get that.
"At the moment, things are going against us but we need to stand up and keep going."