Disappointed Buchanan vows Cobblers will get better but says fixture list is no excuse for poor start

David Buchanan on the ball during Saturday's defeat to Rotherham. Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds
David Buchanan on the ball during Saturday's defeat to Rotherham. Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds

Cobblers defender David Buchanan has downplayed the difficulty of his side’s start to the season and says that they should be capable of ‘beating anybody in this league’ after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Rotherham left them 22nd in the table.

Of the 11 fixtures Northampton have played in their Sky Bet League One campaign so far, nine have been against sides who currently sit in the top half, including all of the top five.

By contrast, only one game – Doncaster Rovers – has been against a team below 15th position.

But that’s no excuse for Buchanan who, speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the New York Stadium, says his side expect more of themselves than to just beat over the so-called weaker sides in the division.

“To be honest, I’m not buying that,” he said when quizzed their tough start to the season. “We’re good enough to beat anybody in this league.

“Fair enough we’ve had to go away to Wigan and teams like Charlton who are up there but we feel like we’ve got a squad that’s capable of being around the top seven.

“We’ve got to go to places like Rotherham and Wigan and we are competing but we’ve got to take points off them.

“We dominated away at MK Dons in my opinion, we dominated the second-half against Bradford in my opinion and we only get one point out of them.

“On Saturday, we started the game really well and we could have been one or two up.

“We’ve got to stop being on the end of 1-0s. We can’t be feeling sorry for ourselves and we’ve got a massive game this week.”

Let’s have it right, there’s been a massive improvement since the gaffer came in but improvement is not enough – we’ve got to get better and better and better, which we will do.

Since the arrival of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, there has been a noticeable improvement in performances but, having taken seven points from his first three games, results have taken a turn for the worse in the past two weeks.

Defeats to Wigan, Bradford and Rotherham, plus a goalless draw with MK Dons, have dropped the Cobblers back into the relegation zone, and Buchanan admits improved performances without points are meaningless.

“It’s not encouraging when you lose games,” he said. “I’d rather play poorly every week and win 1-0 and get to the right end of the table.

“It’s disappointing and we’re not happy about the position we’re in as a team and I’m part of that team.

“Let’s have it right, there’s been a massive improvement since the gaffer came in but improvement is not enough – we’ve got to get better and better and better, which we will do.

“I think we will be all right when we get to the end of the season but we’ve got to get out of the bottom four because you don’t want teams getting away from you.

“The next few games are against teams around us so we’ve got to start taking three points come Saturday.”