Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy tie at Peterborough United was a game he 'could have done without' after citing their busy schedule and lengthy injury list.
Going into their sixth game in 17 days, Northampton had eight players missing through either injury or international duty for the trip to Posh, including Leon Barnett who picked up a knock in training, which meant Hasselbaink was not able to rotate as much as he would have wanted.
He did make seven changes to the team which lost at Rotherham United on Saturday, handing debuts to Lewis McGugan, who joined the club on a short-term contract on Monday, and Sam Foley.
Hasselbaink also named two academy players on the bench in James Gillard and Camron McWilliams, the younger brother of fellow Town midfielder Shaun.
"I could have done without the game because we've had so many games this month," admitted Hasselbaink.
"I would have loved to rest more players and rest the centre-halves and my right-back, but players are injured.
"Leon Barnett got injured unfortunately and Regan Poole is not with us so I have no choice.
"I was thinking of playing some of the youth players, but you have to respect the competition and in a way it will help our confidence going into the next game."
On the game itself, which ended in a 1-1 draw with Town taking the extra point on penalties, Hasselbaink added: "It was two good sides who tried to play good football.
"We passed the ball and gave them trouble, but they gave us trouble running in behind and we had to deal with that really well.
"Our problems were more in the final third when we got into the final third. There was not enough creativity and enough shots at their goal.
"We need to start believing and the goal that we scored will help our belief but it's about keep trying and keep getting at it.
"We do need more creativity and we need to work the goalkeeper more and that's what we have to work on."