Opposition view: Crewe boss Artell left unhappy by defeat to Cobblers
A despondent David Artell felt his Crewe Alexandra side never got to grips with Northampton's 'physicality' during their 2-0 defeat at Gresty Road on Saturday.
First-half goals from Daniel Powell and John-Joe O'Toole set the Cobblers on their way to a relatively comfortable three points, the second time they've beaten Crewe 2-0 this season.
Crewe's Twitter account referred to Northampton's 'roughouse' tactics at full-time, upsetting a few fans, but Artell felt his side just never got going as they slipped to a second successive home defeat.
"There was no positives to come out of today," admitted Artell. "Even if we had drawn 2-2 it would only have masked a poor performance.
"We weren't playing against a particularly good team today and that's not being disrespectful to Northampton - they are a good side but we've played against better.
"We had the best chance of the first-half with Jordan (Bowery) at 0-0 and those are the fine margins but I don't think we ever felt comfortable and had sustained pressure.
"I'm not going to speak about the referee but he didn't help with that. We were our own worst enemies and we didn't get going at all really and that's the most disappointing thing.
"I don't think they've out-footballed us but their physicality was better than our physicality and that's the bottom line. We helped them with that and we helped them gain the initiative.
"Did we play with any intent in the first-half? I don't think so. I've said it before - aggression doesn't mean whacking people, it's about having an aggressive mindset on the ball but we didn't have that first-half.
"We were at least competitive in the second-half, we had the best chances of the half and we were better, but we weren't fluid on the ball.
"We spoke about what we needed to do during the week - if we don't concede from set-pieces and crosses, we win the game. But a set-piece and a cross wins them the game so it's not as if the players didn't know."