Improved Cobblers please Hasselbaink but boss now wants consistency
Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has challenged his side to use their performance in Monday's 1-0 defeat to leaders Wigan Athletic as a springboard for the rest of the season.
Despite eventually losing to Nick Powell's early header, Northampton pushed the League One table-toppers all the way and may have come away with more than another defeat had they been able to conjure up more quality in the final third.
The defeat leaves them in the relegation zone but Hasselbaink came away encouraged by the performance and he's hopeful they can use it as a building block for 2018.
"Obviously it didn't help that we conceded a goal so quickly but then you look at your team and look at what they're going to do and how it will affect them," he said afterwards.
"I must say the response was very good. On a different day, we could have gone away with at least a draw and now we need to keep going and keep producing these kind of performances week in, week out and get that consistency.
"If you do that you give yourself chances to win matches and today we showed that we care and we like playing here for the fans. It was a very positive performance even though we lost.
"Of course I'm happy with that but at the end you want to get some kind of reward and we have to score. Shaun McWilliams had a chance in the first half that he created himself and those are the kind of moments that have to go for us and at the moment they're not.
"That doesn't mean we have to stop because we have to keep going but at the moment it's not going for us at the moment."