Distraught Austin calls on Cobblers to learn from mistakes after Cambridge draw

Dean Austin roars his side on during Saturday's clash with Cambridge United. Picture: Sharon Lucey
Dean Austin roars his side on during Saturday's clash with Cambridge United. Picture: Sharon Lucey

Cobblers boss Dean Austin was absolutely crestfallen by his side's failure to turn one point into three after their immensely-frustrating 2-2 draw against Cambridge United on Saturday.

Town had nothing to show for their efforts in a goalless first-half but Kevin van Veen took his tally for the season to three goals when lashing home from close-range on two separate occasions during the second period.

George Maris cancelled out the first, however, and then United skipper Gary Deegan superbly curled into the top corner to grab a point for his side with just three minutes remaining.

Austin was understandably distraught in his post-match interview with his side still yet to register a victory four games into the season.

"I'm gutted, absolutely gutted," said Austin. "That's football - it's a cruel game sometimes.

"I thought we were excellent again today but we've got to dust ourselves and regroup and learn how to close games out.

"We've worked very hard on the training field but we have to be better at closing the game out. I think the players deserve unbelievable credit for the football that they're playing and the way we're trying to play the game.

"I felt at half-time that we needed a little more composure and guile in the final third to exploit the space they were leaving for us, but you can't be having to score three goals at home to be winning a game of football and that's what we've spoken about and that's the disappointment.

"We had to adjust something at the start because they set up in a diamond but in the end they had to change and go to a 4-3-3 and I think that shows how well we were playing."

For all Town's free-flowing, attacking football going forward, they were made to pay for defensive mistakes as their wait for a first win goes on.

Austin added: "Having seen what they created, I wouldn't say we looked shaky. They had a couple of set-pieces but on the whole I felt we were fairly comfortable to be honest.

"The first comes from us having control of the ball in the final third and then loosely giving it away and it's a defensive error, there's no other way about it.

"The second goal is a second phase of a set-piece. It's just very hard to take at the moment."