Chris Wilder pulled no punches in his assessment of the Cobblers’ loss at Hartlepool United and criticised Lee Collins for ‘taking a chance’ and making the mistake which led to the decisive goal.
Collins misplaced a pass out of defence on 51 minutes and the ball ricocheted into the path of Pools striker Marvin Morgan, who thrashed it home to win the game 1-0.
It means Town’s winning streak has been brought to an abrupt end and leaves them six points off the Sky Bet League Two play-offs.
Hartlepool remain bottom but will take great comfort from their win, which Wilder felt was entirely avoidable for his side.
“We always knew it was going to be a test, I’ve said that all along but we’ve just gifted them a goal,” said the Cobblers boss.
“As soon as I walked into the football club a year ago I looked at the goals that were being conceded and they were horrific, they were from mistakes.
“Hartlepool knew they needed to win the game but there was nothing in it. We raised our game a bit but by letting them score we’ve lifted their staff, their players and their supporters.
“It was a mistake by us and one we didn’t need to make, we just needed to play forwards, and then we’re chasing the game and it becomes a game of basketball.
“We had opportunities but we didn’t show the quality or the energy in the front four that we’ve had in the past five games and one goal was always going to decide it.”
Collins has been highly reliable at centre-back for the Cobblers this season but cut a grim figure as he left Victoria Park, having presumably been subjected to a severe dressing-down from his manager.
And Wilder was in no mood to sugar-coat his thoughts on the incident which led to the game’s only goal when he addressed the press.
“The pivotal moment was when Lee Collins turns around and plays it back to Matt Duke,” he said. “He didn’t need to do it and that’s the be-all and end-all for me. He didn’t need to do it.
“I don’t really care if Lee likes it or not, that’s the situation. We can’t afford to take chances and I don’t know why we’ve done it because we didn’t need to take that chance.
“We’ve gone through that period of conceding rubbish goals.”