Macclesfield Town joint-manager Danny Whitaker did not hold back in his scathing criticism of Tuesday night’s ‘embarrassing’ 5-0 defeat to the Cobblers, admitting his second were ‘second best all over the pitch’.
The Silkmen went into the game bottom of League Two but were boosted by their first win of the season just three days earlier when they scored two late goals to beat Carlisle United.
I’ve told the lads it’s not good enough and they know that. It was bordering on embarrassing and I apologise to the fans because they deserve much better than that.
But any thoughts of making it two wins in a week evaporated in a totally one-sided first-half as Northampton romped into a 4-0 lead, Matt Crooks scoring a hat-trick and Daniel Powell also on target.
Defender Aaron Pierre poked in a late fifth for the Cobblers to complete the misery for home supporters at Moss Rose.
“I’m speechless to be honest,” said Whitaker, who took joint charge alongside Neil Howarth following the sacking of Mark Yates two weeks ago. “I didn’t see it coming whatsoever. After training last week and Saturday’s game, I was expecting a lot better.
“I’ve told the lads it’s not good enough and they know that. It was bordering on embarrassing and I apologise to the fans because they deserve much better than that.
“I really thought we would give them another good performance tonight but it didn’t happen.”
Whitaker and Howarth stuck with the same side that fought back to beat Carlisle on Saturday but once Crooks fired Town in front, their team fell to pieces.
Whitaker added: “You’re always tempted to make changes but we decided to go with the same 11 and we thought that would be enough to cause Northampton problems, but obviously that wasn’t the case.
“There was space everywhere and we were second best all over the pitch, which is strange for us because we were the complete opposite against Tranmere and Carlisle so it was out of the blue and out of character. I don’t know the reason for it – we’re scratching our heads.
“All you can say to the lads at half-time is to show your pride and concede no more goals, but we were just lacking all over the pitch in every aspect tonight. Our closing down was poor, our passing was poor and it was a really bad night.
“You get what you deserve in football and we didn’t deserve anything, even second-half when we did have a bit go, so we’ve got to pick ourselves up for a massive game on Saturday.
“We shouldn’t have to say anything to get a reaction. We’ll show them the game back and they shouldn’t need any motivation because they should be embarrassed – I am.”