A deeply unimpressed Matt Taylor offered up no excuses after Exeter City were beaten 2-1 by the Cobblers on Saturday, going as far to say elements of his side's performance at the PTS were 'weak'.
The Grecians are chasing a play-off place this season and arrived at the PTS occupying fifth place but, on a blustery day in Northampton, they were second best and could have few complaints over the defeat.
City, who also lost to Tranmere last weekend, have now dropped all the way out of the play-off positions and down to eighth in Sky Bet league Two.
"We didn't compete well enough and we didn't play the conditions well enough," fumed Taylor. "We've got good ball players but they get taken out of the picture when they don't get the ball and get control of possession.
"We didn't match them anywhere on the pitch. We really struggled at both ends and they really imposed their physicality on the game and full credit for them for that because they played that game a lot better than we did.
"They were a lot more effective. As much as we can prepare our boys for knowing where the ball is going, they've still got to deal with it and the goals were an example of how weak we were at times.
"They've got to understand the game and they've got to understand they'll be put under pressure and there'll be contact and physicality. The ball isn't going to be clean at their feet. As much as we want our players to get the ball clean at their feet, that happened very few times today and we had no control.
"That's the basics in League Two. Before you start any game, they are the basics. If you want to give yourself a chance of winning, you have to do the basics and we didn't do that today."
Aaron Pierre bundled in Town's opener on 31 minutes before Andy Williams had a simple tap-in to double the lead just shy of the hour-mark, with Aaron Martin's header three minutes later proving nothing more than a consolation.
"In all honesty, we were a little bit relieved to get into half-time only 1-0 down because the ball was bouncing around our box an awful lot," added Taylor.
"We got the goal back and you think you've got half a chance but, I said it last week and I've said it too often, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.
"There's a weakness in there and I think anyone who's been at the game today could see that. We were too often surprised by where the ball ended up as opposed to being there first to clear the danger or deal with it.
"You can't come to Northampton and be surprised by what happens. That's no disrespect to Northampton because they're a very good side and they were just more effective than us - we will speak about it because I picked the players and it's my responsibility."