For a club that has grown accustomed to winning over the past 12 months, these are unsettling times at the Cobblers, but David Buchanan is of the belief that, with time, their fortunes will take a turn for the better.
After the agony of Gillingham and the torment of Peterborough, title-chasing Bradford City were hardly the ideal team for Northampton to face as they looked to rectify recent mistakes and put their season back on track on Tuesday.
We’ve got a lot of experienced professionals in the dressing room and people who want to work hard for each other. We’ll bounce back. As quickly as we’ve lost three on the trot, we can turn that around just as quicklyCobblers defender Dave Buchanan
It proved that way too as James Hanson’s second-half header condemned the Cobblers to a third successive league defeat and sent them tumbling down to 15th.
But for Buchanan, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Though deservedly beaten, Town at least kept themselves in the game at Valley Parade and almost snatched what would have been an excellent point late on when Alex Revell was denied by a fine save and then John-Joe O’Toole saw his header ruled out for offside.
“It’s very disappointing,” said a dejected Buchanan ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Bolton Wanderers at Sixfields. “But we’re not far away.
“We’re playing really well, we worked our socks off first-half and I thought we were the better team. We knew we’d have to defend our box and I thought we did that really well for most of the evening.
“I thought their goal was slightly offside but they’re the fine margins - their goal isn’t offside and ours is and that’s the difference in the game.
“Losing matches is a horrible feeling and to be fair to this club, we’re not used to it over the past 15 months or so.
“But we’ve got a lot of experienced professionals in the dressing room and people who want to work hard for each other.
“We’ll bounce back. As quickly as we’ve lost three on the trot, we can turn that around just as quickly.”
What is of real concern is the Cobblers’ inability to win tight games or respond to a setback.
Town are yet to win from a losing position this season and of the eight times they have fallen behind, only once have they come back to claim a point, going on to lose the other seven.
Buchanan said: “Let’s have it right, at Bradford who are third in the league and going really well.
“On Tuesday’s evidence, no one can say they were miles better than us.
“We matched them all over the pitch and the difference was that they took their goal and our goal didn’t get given.
“We dominated at Gillingham for large periods and we end up losing in the 93rd minute, and then everyone on Saturday because we restricted Peterborough to no chances until the last minute and we’ve hit the bar 30 seconds before they score.
“We’ve gone to Bradford, we’ve dusted ourselves down, we’ve worked well, the gaffer’s made changes and we’ve adapted well again.
“But at the end of the day we’ve been on the end of three defeats which is difficult to take.”
Bolton will provide stiff opposition on Saturday but it does give the Cobblers the opportunity to right the wrongs of recent weeks and hit back with a bang.
After all, they remain closer to the play-offs than the relegation zone.
“What I will say is, as a group of players and fans, we’ve just got to stick together,” stressed Buchanan.
“We’ve done that when we’ve been going well and all credit to the fans on Tuesday because they came out in their numbers and waited for us and clapped us off and appreciated our efforts.
“As a player of this football club, we appreciate them.
“I love Saturday-Tuesday games and it’s another chance to put it right and it’s probably the biggest team in this division with no disrespect to anyone else.
“They’re another team up there and I think anyone who finishes above them this season will probably win automatic promotion.
“They’re going to come here and see our results and fancy their chances, but we’ll dust ourselves down and be raring to go again, and what a better game to have next then playing Bolton at Sixfields.”