Boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says hard work is the only answer to the Cobblers getting themselves out of their current mini slump.
Less than a fortnight ago, all was very rosy in the world at Sixfields, with the Cobblers stretching their unbeaten run to six matches with a deserved 2-1 win at rivals Oxford United.
We need to keep on working hard and find a way to win matches. We need to stick at itCobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hopes and expectations were rising among the Town faithful, yet here we are not even two weeks later, and it if it is not all doom and gloom, there is certainly not a lot of cheer surrounding the club.
Three straight defeats, no goals scored and six conceded, with the most recent of those losses at fellow strugglers Plymouth Argyle - who had previously only won once at home all season, and hadn’t won at home on a Tuesday night for more than two years!
It was a hugely disappointing and dispiriting night for Hasselbaink and his players, and especially for the 200-plus supporters who made the long trip to Devon.
But Hasselbaink wasn’t about to start feeling sorry for himself, and said: “We can’t be giving up and we need to keep working and keep trying to turn those mistakes into good things and get better.
“Every time we play better and then miss a chance, it knocks us back confidence-wise, whereas we shouldn’t think about it and keep on going.
“We shouldn’t worry about it because it will fall and it will come good and at the moment, that’s why we are where we are.
“We need to keep on working hard and find a way to win matches. We need to stick at it.
“We’re in a difficult period, coming from a good period, and now we have to switch that again and find a way to be able to switch that into a positive moment and halt the momentum. But, on Tuesday, there were too many performances under-par.
“I don’t want to pick people out. We are in it together and that’s how it is.
“We’ve lost together and now we want to try and get better together. We are a collective, it’s not about individuals.”
The Cobblers are back at Sixfields on Saturday for a crucial clash against rock-bottom Bury, and Hasselbaink said: “I’m happy that there is a quick game.
“We need to regroup and really look at this game and try to get something positive out of it.”
On the fitness front, the club is still awaiting news on John-Joe O’Toole, who underwent scans on this week, while Daniel Powell could be in contention for a return against the Shakers.
The winger hasn’t played since going off with a hamstring problem in the first half of the win at Oxford, but is close to full fitness.
Sam Hoskins is also battling back from a hamstring problem, but this weekend is likely to be too soon for him to make a comeback.