Cobblers boss Keith Curle did not mince his words after Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Port Vale, describing his side's 'shocking' performance as being 'nowhere near good enough'.
Northampton were both one goal and one man to the good with 44 minutes played at the PTS as Sam Hoskins' early opener was followed by a red card for Vale skipper Leon Legge, seemingly putting Town on course for a third successive home victory.
But it all unravelled from there with David Worrall dragging the visitors level on the stroke of half-time before Tom Pope's late penalty punished an extremely lacklustre second-half display from the Cobblers.
Curle has previously defended his players in public but there was little of that after Saturday's defeat when he was forthright in his criticism of their performance.
"First and foremost, I need to be honest and I will be because that was nowhere near good enough," he said.
"If you don't do the basics right, you get found out and we didn't do the basics right. For the first 35 or 40 minutes, we were dominant and on the front foot.
"They then had a man sent off and we had players not doing what needs to be done and they don't do it quickly.
"When you're playing against 10 men, the messages are there, the information is there. Get the ball down and pass and play.
"There were times in the second-half when we had possession inside our own half and we passed the ball out of play. That tells me we are not good enough.
"Why go and get on the ball if all you're going to do is pass it out? It's shocking. We don't play the ball forward with purpose and with appreciation.
"The representation of this football club today was poor, the understanding was poor and the fundamentals were poor."
Asked about decision to award Vale's winning penalty, when Charlie Goode bundled over Cristian Montano, Curle added: "The lad realised the ball was going over his head and he tried to buy a penalty, which he did.
"But, before that, Charlie Goode has seen the tackle and stopped the move but then he's got to make up that yard which allows the lad to get the wrong side of him. Again, that's basic defending and it needs to improve."