Keith Curle didn't gloss over what he felt was a disappointing first-half from the Cobblers during their 2-0 victory over Cambridge United on Saturday.
Harry Smith's fine finish and an own goal from George Taft handed Town a 2-0 lead at the break after a scrappy first-half that was played out on a sodden pitch and in persistent rain.
The second-half became a case of digging in and seeing out their third win in a week, and Cobblers successfully managed just that thanks to another strong defensive display.
"The pleasing thing is to be able to win ugly," said Curle. "The conditions weren't the best and players got back late after the Carlisle game in midweek and we had to adjust physically to that.
"We had another game coming thick and fast so the mental challenge was set for the players but they showed good attention."
However, despite leading 2-0 and going on to clinch victory, Curle was far from happy with what he witnessed from his side in the opening 45 minutes.
"To be honest it took us 20 minutes to get going and to get the fundamentals of the game right," he added. "We didn't get close enough to them in the first-half.
"We didn't put the ball in behind them and we didn't test and stretch them enough when we had good possession and it took until the goals to settle us down a bit.
"We looked very solid in the second-half and we carried more of a threat but there's still more to come."