Keith Curle's blunt assessment of what went wrong in Scunthorpe defeat
Cobblers boss Keith Curle offered a blunt explanation as to what went so horribly wrong for his side during their 3-0 defeat at Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
Although they were beaten last time out by Leyton Orient, not many could have foreseen such a lethargic and out-of-sorts performance from the Cobblers, especially in the first 45 minutes.
Struggling for energy and intensity and unable to get a foothold in the game, their hopes of returning from Glanford Park with a positive result were dashed in the first 31 minutes as Lee Novak scored twice and Kevin van Veen bagged another.
The visitors improved in the second-half but chances remained at a premium, even more so after Vadaine Oliver's red card, and it left Curle to reach a simple conclusion in his post-match interview.
"Too many players didn't turn up and if you don't turn up, you'll get a result like that," he summarised.
'The midfield at the start was non-existent, some of the deliveries into the box weren't good enough and as a defence we didn't deal with their strike force.
"They've got two good centre-forwards and they've got pace in wide areas and players who can manipulate the ball and their front line caused us more problems than we caused them."
Matty Warburton, back in the team at Scunthorpe, also accepted it's up to individual players to take ownership of their performances.
"You could tell by everyone's body language at the end and you can tell my by demeanour now that we're obviously not happy with our performance," he said.
"It's not good enough and it was probably the worst one we've had this year but we have to learn from it and bounce back.
"That's one of the key messages - we need to learn. We can't start poorly like we did, we have to get ourselves into games and be a braver from the start."